Anti-FDI wave sweeps markets

Bharat bundh today: Opposition parties back trade organisations

The bundh call has jointly been given by Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and Bharat Udyog Vyapar Mandal.

“India’s retail sector was being run successfully by the indigenous capital at the rate of 15 per cent and contributing nearly 10 per cent of GDP, so no FDI was required,” said Praveen  Khandelwal, the General Secretary of CAIT.

“The foreign retailers can open in big cities, but they will source from mandis across rural India and small towns. With their money and power, over time they can corner the supply of produce,”he said.

“We have given support to the Bharat Bundh call of traders. The FDI will make lakhs of people lose their job. It will not benefit farmers as well,” asserted senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi at  a press conference.

The Left has extended its support to the bundh. All the Left parties have instructed their local units to support the bundh. Over 10,000 trade organisations are likely to participate in the strike. The call for Bharat Bundh has elicited the support of opposition parties including the Left and BJP.  In states, too, many local level organisations have come out in support of the traders.

In Bihar
The Bihar Chamber of Commerce has also lent its support to the call for Bharat Bundh on December 1.

Already, the Janata Dal (U), the BJP and the Left have extended their support to the nationwide bundh on Thursday to protest against Centre’s decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in retail sector.

“We are of the opinion that the Union Cabinet’s decision, allowing 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail and 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail will ruin millions of small traders across the country, rendering them jobless,” said chamber  president O P Sah. “Therefore, we will wholeheartedly support the bundh call given by traders’ associations,” he added.

Sah said in the open economy system, under the guise of global competition, almost all the trading activities were aimed at promoting MNCs. “We have a strong hunch that local and small retailers will become a casualty in a business space subjected to an unfair trade war. The decision will benefit global and India-based foreign groups, which, in turn, will kill the local trading community,” Sah added.
The BCC chief said such investments would jeopardise the existing business profile as it would signal the end of C&F agents, distributors and dealers.

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