All-India convention of retail traders in Delhi demands
Say no to FDI in retail trade
By Pramod Kumar
Hundreds of retail traders and representatives of over four dozen market associations from different parts of the country have resovled to fight the UPA government'sdecision to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail trade. In a resolution adopted unanimously at the all-India convention of retail traders organised by Swadeshi Jagaran Manch and several other organisations in New Delhi on July 21, the retail traders declared a countrywide agitation against the move. They condemned the move and termed it uncalled for. The all-India convention further demanded the government to modernise and strengthen the domestic retail trade sector on priority basis by providing financial support, management guidance and simplifying the trade laws as well as tax procedures. It also declared to organise such conventions in all state capitals, cities and small towns. The representatives of retail traders will also exert pressure on the government through MLAs and MPs to stop the disastrous decision.
Addressing the traders, former Defence Minister, George Fernandes said that all constituents of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would support the fight of the retail traders and would force the UPA government to withdraw the move. He also said the UPA government appeared ready to allow FDI in retail trade and crores of retailers should be ready to fight a long battle. He said the retailers should not have any expectation from the left parties. He said once the fight began it would not be easy for left parties to stay away. He stated that the government was bringing a bill on small-scale industries in this session of Parliament, which would affect crores of small-scale industrialists. ?The government that instead of providing employment, makes people unemployed, has no right to stay in power. This government is behaving like an enemy, which will not be tolerated,? he said.
Shri Murlidhar Rao, convenor of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, said that the move would result in wide-spread unemployment of not merely the resourceful and the well-to-do sections of the trading community but also millions of the uneducated resource poor persons such as khomchewala, thelawala, feriwala, patriwala, petty shopkeepers for whom there is no other source of livelihood. ?The entry of foreign capital in retail sector will also harm millions of small Indian producers, since the foreign retailers will procure their supplies directly from foreign sources. It will also result in unfair trade practices and cut-throat competition from the MNCs, which the local retailers will be unable to face,? he added. Shri Shyam Behari Mishra, former MP, Shri C.T. Sanghavi of Federation of Associations of Maharashtra and Prof. Suresh Chand Mishra also spoke on the occasion. Noted thinker and Swadeshi ideologue Shri Govinda-charya was also present at the convention.