In the wake of the fresh round of Covid-19 related restrictions announced by the Maharashtra government, the Commodity Participants Association of India (CPAI) – a pan India association of stock and commodity brokers – has written to Maharashtra government to classify stock and commodity broking under ‘essential services’.

This request is particularly in the view that the government has allowed both the leading stock exchanges—NSE and BSE—to remain operational and to ensure smooth functioning of the exchanges, undisrupted broking services must also be facilitated.

“On behalf of CPAI, it’s our earnest request to the Maharashtra government to issue necessary clarifications to exempt employees working in broking offices from any curbs on their movement. This is to ensure smooth operations and functioning of the broking offices as without the support of the broking industry, exchanges cannot operate,” said Narinder Wadhwa, President, CPAI.

The appeal echoes previous requests by broking bodies when lockdown was imposed for the first time last year. Many brokers then had complained of disruption in services due to restrictions.

Recognising the importance of capital markets in the nation’s economy, Maharashtra was amongst the first states to have brought stock broking, along with depositories and mutual funds, under essential services during the nation-wide lockdown imposed in March 2020.

Maharashtra’s new Covid-19 guidelines that come into force from 8 pm on April 5 will remain in force till 11.59 pm on April 30.