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‘Mishti essential for Bengalis’: After appeal to Mamata, sweet shops to run for 4 hrs daily

The Mamata Banerjee govt said sweet shops will be allowed to operate only for take away from 12 noon to 4 pm everyday.

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Kolkata: The West Bengal government Monday said it will allow sweet shops to operate with minimum staff during the lockdown. This is a first instance of a state government allowing sweet shops, which do not fall in the list of essential food items, to operate in the lockdown period.

The Mamata Banerjee government issued an order late in the evening, stating sweetmeat shops will be allowed to do business from 12 noon to 4 pm everyday with minimum staff.

The shops will only be available for take away, according to the order.

Appeal to Mamata 

The move comes after sweet-makers in the state wrote to CM Banerjee last week, requesting they be allowed to open their shops.

The Paschimbanga Mistanna Byabasayi Samiti, which has 10,000 members, had mailed a letter to the chief minister’s office Wednesday, urging the CM to allow them to operate their shops, citing restaurants, which have been allowed to cater to take away orders.

The letter was sent after the members of the organisation held a meeting and calculated that thousands of litres of milk was being wasted due to a halt in operations. 

The chief minister agreed to their request after a meeting with secretaries, police and the administration. 

Also read: Health minister rebuts Mamata claim: Bengal has conducted under 10% of 2,500 tests available

‘Timings will not work for us’

Dhiman Das of Kolkata’s iconic sweetmeat shop chain K.C. Das said the order, which came for days after the appeal, was a positive response. 

Mishti (sweets) is totally an essential commodity for Bengalis. We all know and understand this. In fact, if one calculates, it can be seen that 65 per cent of total milk production of Bengal is used in making sweets. At least 50 to 60 lakh litres of milk was being wasted for the closure (of sweet shops) across the state,” said Das, who added that the number of small and medium sweet shops in the state will be in lakhs.

However, Das, who is an executive committee member of the Paschimbanga Mistanna Byabasayi Samiti, said the timings weren’t comfortable. 

“The time slots will not work for us. During these hours, people generally remain indoors. The brands like us will not be able to run the operation as we have our larger units. From there, we supply our products to several outlets. We carry our products from our unit at Bagbazar (north Kolkata) to eight outlets. So, this will not work for us,” he said.

“But, the small and medium shops, those which have attached production units, will surely be benefitted. We will request the government to reconsider the timings,” added Das.

Also read: Bengal has only 40 COVID-19 testing kits, flagged issue to PM Modi last week: CM Mamata


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  1. Is that siesta time for the Corona Virus as well? That’s how it seems. Indiana have always been privately smart but collectively stupid. This is one such event where popularity is placed over safety. This comes from the common Indian mindset
    1. We will not react unless the problem is at our doorstep
    2. Bad things happen to others, not me
    3. Unless something bad happens to me or my near ones, I will not believe that a problem exists

    People will get what they deserve

  2. If sweet is essential then liquor is also essention. Atleast govt. Get some taxes. Due to lock down hundred of people doing black marketing of liquor. So atleast four hour liquor shop should open.

  3. West Bengal o italy hote dud kono gorib dusto der Dan kora uchit.jara dubela kheta pare na.sweet kono essential jinis na

  4. Bengal is better than Kerala at least. Liquor has not been declared an “essential item”.

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