New Delhi: Launching a fortnight long country-wide agitation against retail chains, a group of traders and activists staged a demonstration on 1 August outside a prominent outlet in the capital.
Scores of protesters, belonging to Confederation of All India Traders, All India Hawkers Association and India FDI Watch, staged the sit-in in front of ‘Reliance Fresh´ outlet in Paharganj in New Delhi district as part of their “Retail Democracy Fortnight”.
The traders and activists raised slogans against the government alleging that it was allowing corporates to “hijack retail trade of the country which will lead to monopolistic practices in the market”.
CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal alleged that the policy encouraging corporate retailers would deprive millions of people who are dependent of small shops.
“The government has no plan to provide alternative jobs to those affected by the spread of corporate chains. Government should understand that wiping out small retailers will prove to be detrimental to Indian economy,” he alleged.
Among those who participated in the protest were activist Vandana Shiva and leaders of traders’ bodies like Murli Mani, Narender Madan and Ramesh Kapoor.
The traders also will observe August nine as “Retail Democracy Day”, coinciding with the Quit India Day. Nationwide protests will be organised on that day, including a rally in the capital.
The traders and activists also began a mass awareness programme today to educate people about the “sinister” designs of corporates to “hijack” retail trade of the country.