Malls seek a bailout from the government to compensate for losses incurred during a mandatory shut down period due to coronavirus outbreak.
“A shut down like this effectively means that there are all kinds of expenses to be borne by everybody; malls may not get rent and would not be able to service loans they have taken for creation of the mall, capital expenditure, etc,” said Retailers Association of India CEO Kumar Rajagopalan in a report. “It’s all going to be a big loss. The government needs to look into this and support these entities to save lakhs of jobs”.
It is considered five-day halt to business will erase the month’s profits for retailers. Mall operators stand to lose 20 to 25 percent of their annual revenue, in case a rent-free period is given to retailers.
A representative body for malls is seeking a lending window, a moratorium on loan repayments or to allow banks to reschedule debt, as well as a potential waiver of property tax and electricity charges.
Industry experts have expressed skepticism that footfalls will return to normal within the next few months no matter how brief the shutdown period may be, which is likely to impact rental negotiations for retailers, as well as the deferment of new mall openings.