The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) is organising a nationwide Bharat Bandh today against Walmart’s acquisition of retail major Flipkart and FDI in the retail sector. 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.
Apart from FDI, as reported by the Financial Express, the Delhi traders are also focussing on sealing issue. The traders are demanding an immediate promulgation of an ordinance to stop sealing of shops in the national capital. The markets in Delhi’s prominent place like Connaught Place, Chawri Bazar, Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazar, Kashmiri Gate, Pahar Ganj, Karol Bagh, South Extension, Greater Kailash, Amar Colony, Green Park, Khan Market, Rajouri Garden, Tilak Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Vikas Marg, Lajpat Nagar, Shahdara and others will remain shut today.
In March 2013, assuring support to the traders opposing the Congress-led government’s decision to allow FDI in retail, BJP leader Arun Jaitley said that his party would oppose the move till its “last breath”, reported NDTV.
“This FDI (foreign direct investment) is not in favour of the consumer, farmer, trader, manufacturer and the country. That’s why we are opposing it and will continue to oppose it till our last breath,” Mr. Jaitley said as he addressed a rally held at Ramlila Ground in New Delhi by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).
“We stand united with the traders and the people of this country,” he added in 2013.
The then senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and now the Finance Minister argued that under FDI, 60-70 per cent of the business will go into the hands of just two or three companies which will be harmful for the farmers.
“The farmers would be left with no choice but to sell their produce to them. When the number of sellers decrease, how will it benefit the farmers?” asked Mr Jaitley.
Other senior leaders who attended the rally were BJP chief Rajnath Singh, prominent party leader Murli Manohar Joshi, Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel and Communist Party of India (CPI) leader A.B. Bardhan.
Several markets in the capital remained closed then too as traders pulled down shutters in protest.
With Inputs from Financial Express & NDTV