Flower Merchants’ Association says that they are yet to receive the financial relief announced by the Karnataka Government for flower vendors.
Flower vendors in Bengaluru continue to suffer losses even though the government has relaxed restrictions in place to control the spread of Covid-19.
Shiva, a flower vendor at Jayanagar 4th Block said that the demand for flowers has reduced since the pandemic and for the last two weeks of September it has been down to a bare minimum. “Earlier we used to sell 1000 flowers every day but now it has reduced to 100 flowers per day,” said Shiva.
Bangalore Flower Merchants’ Association President GM Divakar said that the vendors are buying flowers from the farmers at a higher price because transportation cost has increased. But the demand for flowers has reduced drastically as flowers are considered as a luxury for common people and currently everyone is facing financial problems. He added, “Along with this, people are spending less on weddings. As a result, now there are no big decorations made with flowers at weddings.”
As cases of Covid-19 started to reduce, the government started to revoke the lockdown as the economy was in a bad shape. Lots of restrictions were removed and various relief packages were announced by the Karnataka Government to help the speedy recovery of the economy. The government announced a relief package of Rs. 10000 per hectare for flower growers. This relief package had provision for roadside vendors to get Rs. 2000 each to those who are registered under Atma Nirbhar Bharat.
But Divakar said they are yet to receive any relief from the government.
The office of Department of Horticulture, Government of Karnataka said, “First, the vendors have to be identified in a survey for the revenue department and along with that, the survey needs to show losses for the vendors. Only then can the government help the flower vendors.”
Prof.Arundhati Agte, professor of Economics at Sir Parshurambhau College, Pune said, “These vendors come under informal sector and they are self-employed people. They do not have social security; most of them are not even registered. They face hostility from the state as they are not organized. Most of them could be migrants; they may not have bank accounts. So they don’t get benefit from relief packages.”