FDI in retail: Traders' body begins three-month protest

The government’s decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail received the most serious opposition from the traders on Thursday, as various traders organisations, including the National Hawkers’ Federation, staged a protest at Jantar Mantar in the capital.

Protesters covered their mouths with black cloths and burned the effigy representing the FDI, as the participating organisations vowed to continue their action against multi-brand retailers entering the country.

Revealing their detail protest programme for the next three months that includes a huge rally in Delhi next month, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) General Secretary Praveen Khandelwal said the demonstration will be widened to include farmers’ organization, trade unions, transporters, hawkers and self employed.

The trader body will also observe “national mass awakening month” in October, with plans to stage demonstrations and protest rallies across the country.

Gathering support

The traders body will immediately begin a campaign to gather support of MLAs and MPs for the rollback of the foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, which it hopes to wrap up by October 1.

The organisation would celebrate father of nation Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday on Oct 2 as Sadbuddhi Diwas (Wisdom Day).

During the protest, they would hold state level conferences and make representations to chief ministers.

They plan to hold a rally on the day when the bill on FDI in retail is introduced in Parliament.

“The agitation is purely a-political and we express regret over the statements by some Congress leaders linking (the protests) to a political party,” said Khandelwal.

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