The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has called for a nationwide Bharat Bandh on Friday against Walmart’s acquisition of retail major Flipkart and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the retail sector. CAIT president BC Bhartia said that Walmart-Flipkart deal was a violation of the FDI policy of the government, which will adversely affect the small businesses in the country, whereas the FDI in retail would be disastrous for small and medium-sized enterprises and the overall national economy.
It is regretted that knowing well about the ill effects, the MNCs are being given a passage to enter the retail trade of the country, Bhartia had said in a statement. The traders feel neglected and they are concerned over the future of their business, he said.
In a statement, the CAIT said that all commercial markets across the country will remain closed and around seven crore small business houses will participate in the bandh. In the national capital, traders from both wholesale and retail markets are participating in the bandh. The trader’s body will also hold a protest-dharna at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar against the Walmart-Flipkart deal and FDI in retail markets.
The traders in Delhi are demanding an immediate promulgation of an ordinance to stop sealing of shops in the national capital. CAIT's Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal had alleged that the Monitoring Committee is conducting sealing drive according to its own wishes disregarding the provisions of MCD Act. Khandelwal also said that the DDA and MCD are threatening the traders to seal the shops by issuing notices.
In West Bengal, around 80 per cent of the 40 lakh traders will join the nationwide strike. Despite Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's appeal, CAIT is going ahead with the bandh.
About 40 trade organisations from the Northeast are participating in the nationwide strike. The organisations, including the Assam Chamber of Commerce, Wholesale General Merchants Association, North Eastern Garments Traders Association, and North East Distributor Association are supporting the bandh.
(With agency inputs)