Businesses remained closed in many Indian cities on Monday, in response to the opposition’s nationwide strike protesting fuel price increases. Many of Mumbai’s streets were deserted and many shops were closed. Even taxis and three-wheelers remained off the streets. The response was mixed in Delhi, though businesses were shut down in much of the old city. The strike was most successful in Kolkata and Mumbai. Both those cities lie in states ruled by opposition parties. Companies, schools and government offices closed for the day. And flights out of Kolkatta were cancelled until later in the evening.
Industry bodies reacted with their own estimates of how much the strikes cost India. CII places the figure at more than Rs3,000 crore. Assocham’s estimate is Rs10,000 crore. And Ficci places the losses even higher at 13,000 crore.
Internet firm Tikona says it will follow in the footsteps of RIL. The company plans to adopt whatever technology RIL decides to use to deliver broadband wireless access. Tikona says it makes sense for it to follow whatever the industry’s biggest player does. During the recent BWA auction, Tikona paid Rs10,58 crore for licenses in five telecom circles. RIL, meanwhile, acquired a pan-Indian license after it bought Infotel, the most successful bidder. RIL can now choose from either of two technologies for broadband- WiMax or LTE.
Monday’ strike kept trading volumes low on Indian markets, which ended the day flat. The Sensex closed down 20 points 17,441. And the Nifty ended trade down one point at 5,236.