Traders to observe fast against entry of MNCs in retail trade

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Madurai, Jan 28 (UNI) Protesting against the entry of Multinational companies into the retail business and the move to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), traders in Tamil Nadu have decided to observe a day's hunger strike on January 30 in Chennai.

In a statement here today, Coordinator of Tamil Nadu Retail Traders Protection Committee S Rathinavelth said a blanket ban should be imposed on domestic corporates from entering into grocery, vegetables and fruits busines. Large Malls should be prevented from selling other consumer products, he added.

He said the livelihood of more than four crore people, who were directly dependent on the retail trade would be affected severely, if the FDI and Corporates were allowed to enter into the retail sector.

The traders representatives sought a meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on January 30 to impress upon the Central Government to concider to their demands, he added.

Mr Rathinavelu said the Committee wanted a legislation to protect and promote small and medium retailers under a separate ministry.

Tamil Nadu alone accounts for over six-lakh retail shops of the total 1.5 crore in the country and has the highest density of retail outlets in the world, he added.

He said the Committee wants a reservation policy, similar to the Union Government's policy of earmarking certain products exclusively for Small Scale Industrial units for indigenous small and medium retailers.

The Committee also wanted the Centre to introduce a unequivocal policy of not allowing FDI as joint ventures and were demanding withdrawal of service tax on freight charges, he added.

UNI GSM DS DB1354

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