Nation-wide traders strike against Flipkart-Walmart deal


New Delhi (IANS) Amid a nation-wide traders' strike on Friday called by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the organization submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In response to the call for a "Bharat Trade Bandh" against the Walmart-Flipkart deal and foreign direct investment in retail, the commercial markets across the country were closed on Friday, a CAIT statement said.

The trader's body submitted the memorandum and a Traders Charter to Modi urging for his intervention to stop the deal as it violates FDI Policy Press Note Number 3 of 2016 of the government, CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said in a statement.

It urged Modi to constitute a high-level committee under the chairmanship of a senior Union Minister and comprising officials and trade representatives to look into the matter.

On Friday around seven crore business establishments and more than 40,000 trade associations and federations across the nation participated in the one-day strike, the traders' organization said. 

Traders across the country held "dharna", demonstrations and protest marches and later submitted similar memorandum as given to the Prime Minister to their respective District Collectors, CAIT said.

The CAIT also regretted that retail trade has never been a priority although, after agriculture, it is the largest employment provider and the largest source of revenue for the government. 

"Such a stepmotherly treatment to the traders must come to an end," the statement said.

On August 28, the Confederation had approached the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) against the Competition Commission of India (CCI)'s approval for the Walmart-Flipkart deal.

Consequently, NCLAT issued a notice to Walmart, enquiring about its business model.

In August, Walmart Inc acquired approximately 77 per cent stake in e-commerce major Flipkart.

Walmart now holds approximately 77 per cent of Flipkart, while the remainder of the business is held by other shareholders, including Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Tencent, Tiger Global and Microsoft Corp.

The global retail giant's investment includes $2 billion of new equity funding to help accelerate the growth of Flipkart's business. Both companies will retain their unique brands and operating structures in India, the statement said.

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