As many as 7 crore traders across the country are expected to keep their shutters closed on September 28 to register protest against acquisition of Flipkart by US retail giant Walmart. The nationwide bandh call has been given by Retailers association CAIT.
"We are observing Bharat trade bandh on September 28. Almost 7 crore traders across country will keep their shutters closed to protest against Walmart acquiring Flipkart," CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal said.
He said that the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) will approach the government to annul the deal as it violates press note 3 of 2016, which clearly says that no foreign direct investment will be allowed in e-commerce.
Reacting to CAIT's call for nationwide bandh, Walmart said it remains committed to contributing to the Indian economy by supporting smallholder farmers, manufacturers, and kirana (grocery) customers.
"Flipkart is a prominent player in India with a strong, entrepreneurial leadership team that is a good cultural fit with Walmart. We believe that the combination of Walmart’s global expertise and Flipkart will position us for long-term success and enable us to contribute to India’s economic growth," Walmart spokesperson said.
CAIT has challenged Walmart-Flipkart deal before National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
"If need be, we will take the fight to Supreme Court. Business of traders is adversely effected because Walmart is using e-commerce platform passage as a way to infiltrate goods sourced globally by it to influence Indian retail market," Khandelwal noted.
He alleged that through e-commerce Walmart will dump products in Indian retail market that it sources globally and indulge in predatory pricing and other malpractices.
"Ultimately domestic manufacturing sector and the traders will lose their business because of uneven level playing field," Khandelwal added.
The CAIT is also launching a 90-days Digital Rath Yatra beginning September 15 from Delhi.
"The Digital Rath will have LEDs on its wall and audio system to address people around," Khandelwal said.
(With PTI inputs)