New Delhi, October 23, 2012: May be the demon of Ravan shall be put to flame tomorrow but as a part of series of their ongoing protests against FDI in retail, a day before Dussehra, the trade associations across the country today burnt the effigy of FDI Ravan.
The protests were held at more than 100 places all over the country under the banner of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).
Calling the FDI in retail as real demon which will enable the global retailers to eat the Indian retail trade by controlling and dominating the same with their vast resources and enormous power, the protestors demanded the government to roll back FDI in retail since it will hammer the livelihood of farmers, hawkers, labourers, small industries, transporters, traders, consumers and other sectors of retail trade.
In Delhi, the traders gathered in large numbers at Karol Bagh, one of the prominent market of Delhi and shouted slogans " Videshi Compania Aayengi-Barbadi Dahej Main Layengi", Videshi Companio ka ek hi kaam- Kar Do Vyapar ka Kaam Tamam" and "Videshi Poonji Nahin-Videsh Main Jama Bhartiya Poonji Chahiye".
Wearing black strips on their forehead, the protestors put to flame the 25ft tall effigy of FDI Ravan.
The protest was organised by Karol Bagh Traders Federation under the aegis of CAIT and leaders of leading trade associations from different parts of Delhi participated in the protest. CAIT Dellhi Chairman Murli Mani, General Secretary of Karol Bagh Traders Federation Ram Lal, CAIT Delhi President Narender Madan, National Organising Secretary Satish Garg, National Secretary Ramesh Khanna, Delhi General Secretary Vijay Pal, Ashok Gera, General Secretary of Delhi Scooter Traders Association, Satwant Singh, President, Tank Road Readymade Garment Dealers Association, prominent Trade leader of U.P. and President of Rashtriya Vyapar Mandal Shri Banwari Lal Kanchal was specially present at the protest.
Charging the Government for a sinister conspiracy to hand over Indian retail market to global retailers, the CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal while addressing the protesting crowd said that it is most unfortunate that people who have studied in foreign countries and who do not know the ground realties of how retail trade in India works, have been framing the economic policies of the country on the basis of incorrect figures and facts and reports of Multinational agencies. The tall claims of benefits of FDI in retail advanced by the government are completely hollow and imaginary. " If really the government has credible statistics to back its arguments it should accept the challange of an open debate thrown by the CAIT earlier"-said Khandelwal.
He also lambasted industry organisations such as FICCI, ASSOCHAM and CII for their dubious role in extending support to FDI in retail without consulting their member organisations. Large number of Chambers and MSME associations in different states are members of these organisations and they have utterly failed in protecting even the interests of small industries of the country which are bound to have a blow of 30% procurement provision of the FDI notification which has been much diluted in favour of global retailers. The CAIT has also called upon these organisations to join any open debate on any open platform on merits and demerits of FDI in Retail.
Khandelwal announced that in order to conduct a nationwide agitation against FDI in retail, a joint platform " Khudra FDI Virodhi Rashtriya Morcha (KFVRM)" has been constituted comprising of leading and credible organisations of farmers, hawkers, consumers, transporters, small industries, trade unions, traders, co-operatives, self employed groups etc The KFVRM will be holding its meeting shortly to draw a joint strategy to counter the FDI in Retail policy of the Government and will launch a joint agitation across the Country.