It's just an eyewash, say city traders
Amid the welter on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail, traders in the city will continue to protest against FDI till the government shelves it completely. With the government officially suspending FDI in retail, yesterday, traders are fearful that the government has only postponed its decision. Traders claim that the FDI issue will rear its ugly head once again after the Uttar Pradesh polls are over.
Narendra Patil, president of Mathadi Kamgar Union said "We will study the impact of FDI on creation of jobs, so that we can hold a debate with the government when they propose the subject again in the future."
Shelved plans: A trader protesting against the FDI in retail. File pic
Pramod Joshi, secretary of Navi Mumbai Vyapari Sangh said "We are relieved by the government's verdict, but we will keep protesting against FDI. From the past twenty years the FDI issue has been a threat to small retailers. The government has always betrayed its promises on scrapping FDI."
Moreover, in order to make farmers and traders aware of ills of FDI, a consortium of trader unions have decided to campaign against FDI across the country. Mohan Gurnani, president of Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) said "We are going to form a team of various trader unions in the country to make farmers and people from rural background aware of evils of FDI. We will form small teams. The teams will go to the rural parts of the country and will hold various discussions with farmers and people convincing them of menace by FDI. Once people start protesting against FDI, the government will be pressurised to scrap FDI in India."
On December 1, as a mark of their displeasure traders at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) market in Vashi went on a strike in protest of FDI. The strike had crippled the supply of vegetable and fruits to the city, leading to a brief price rise.