Traders protest retail outlets by MNCs in Orissa

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 7 (UNI) Orissa Byabasaee Mahasangha(OBM), a federation of All Orissa Traders Association, today threatened to intensify its agitation if the Government allowed the multinational companies to open their outlets in the state.

The OBM which staged a demonstration here to protest the opening of the Reliance Fresh Outlets in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, served an ultimatum to the state government to concede its demand within a week.

Mahasangha General Secretary B K Mohanty said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had assured its traders, who called on him today to look into their demand. The delegation met the Chief Minister and submitted a memorandum urging him not to allow any retail outlets by the multinationals in the state.

Mr Mohanty said MNCs like Reliance and Walmart were planning to open 10 outlets in Bhubaneswar and 8 in Cuttack and later expand them to semi-Urban and rural areas to capture the entire whole sale and retail marketing of the state.

He alleged that since the MNC would directly purchase from the producers, a large number of intermediary traders would be hit hard as they could not compete with the MNCs. It would also lead to a large scale unemployment in the state, Mr Mohanty warned.

The OBM general secretary also alleged that the companies would dictate terms and the small and medium farmers as well as consumers would be affected in the long run. In addition to it, the state would lose a substantial revenue as it would eliminate the intermediary traders.

The memorandum said the governments in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal had not allowed the MNCs to open their outlets in their respective states and urged Mr Patnaik to consider the larger interest of the weaker section of people.


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