Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. (AP)
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. (AP)

Traders plan to hit the streets during Bezos’s visit this week

  • More than 500,000 traders are expected to stage protests across 300 locations in the country
  • Jeff Bezos is expected to be in India next week as Amazon hosts ‘Smbhav’ its collaborative event for small and medium businesses

NEW DELHI : Scores of traders’ associations, small retailers, distributors, and mobile phone shop owners are expected to stage protests in the country on 15 January as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is expected to visit India.

More than 500,000 traders are expected to stage protests across 300 locations in the country over hefty discounts given by e-retailers and prompting them to comply with FDI guidelines in e-commerce, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said on Sunday.

“Predatory pricing, deep discounting, loss funding, and exclusivity—all these points are what we are taking forward as part of our protests," CAIT secretary Praveen Khandelwal said.

Jeff Bezos is expected to be in India next week as Amazon, the company he founded in 1994, hosts “Smbhav" its collaborative event for small and medium businesses, according to media reports.

The event will see the participation of industry executives such as Kishore Biyani, and Piyush Pandey, while senior executives from Amazon are expected to address small business owners over collaborating with the online retailer’s products, services and platforms.

An e-mail query sent to Amazon remained unanswered.

“January 15 will see a huge protest of traders across the country under the banner of CAIT in association with All India Mobile Retailers Association, All India Consumer Products Distributors Federation and more than 5,000 trade bodies which will be participated by lakhs of traders all over India," CAIT said on Sunday. “Traders across the country will observe 15 January as National Protest Day under which Jeff Bezos’ visit will be strongly opposed by gathering of traders."

A spokesperson for All India Consumer Products Distributions Federation confirmed participation in the protests.

The move comes as Amazon, and Walmart-backed Flipkart, are heavily investing in India’s retail trade, especially in the country’s small, but booming, e-commerce market.

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