Uttar Pradesh traders today demonstrated against the proposal to allow 51 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail in India.
The traders are apprehensive that the proposal, if cleared by the union cabinet, would spell disaster for the neighbourhood kirana stores and endanger the livelihood of millions of traders.
The traders under the banner of UP Adarsh Vyapar Mandal took out a procession in several districts, including Lucknow, Shahjahanpur, Lakhimpur, Barabanki and Jhansi against the FDI proposal.
They handed over a memorandum to the respective district administration for the Prime Minister, urging against the proposal to allow FDI by multinationals.
"The mall culture has adversely affected the domestic retail sector, with people from middle and upper middle class families shifting to big retailers. If FDI is allowed in multi-brand retail, it would also take away the clientele of lower middle class families away from small-time retailers," Mandal president Sanjay Gupta told Business Standard .
He said the logic of global market being forwarded by proponents of FDI in multi-brand retail was wrong. “The retailers are already facing the heat from mall culture and the new proposal would spell doom for us,” he added.
Last week, the union Committee of Secretaries (CoS) had approved 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail.
“Since the approval has been given by the union cabinet secretary, the traders are confident that the Centre is steadfast to implement it. However, we would not allow this to happen at any cost,” he said.
Gupta further announced that on July 28, the traders would take out a torch procession in the state capital highlighting the issue.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) is spearheading the agitation against the FDI proposal in India.
Source – Business Standard