Indian traders are participating in the Bharat Bandh called on Thursday against FDI in retail. Bharti-Walmart stores in Delhi was closed on Thursday as a precautionary measure. Another retail giant, Carrefour, which is also the world's second largest retailer that is already operating in the wholesale segment have installed extra security across their stores in Delhi and Jaipur.
Private security guards were seen patrolling the Carrefour store in the Shahdra area in east Delhi.
With the Centre's move to welcome retail giants like Walmart, Tesco and Carrefour into the flourishing Indian market, Indian traders and those having small shops feel threatened by the move. The government had given the go-ahead to allow 51% foreign investment in the multi-brand retail sector.
The Opposition and other political parties, including UPA allies have slammed the Centre's decision with the Parliament on a logjam due to this very reason. Praveen Khandelwal, secretary-general of the Confederation of All India Traders association has been quoted as saying, "We have got very good response from across the country and 5 crore traders will not open their shops tomorrow. They will hold protest in their own markets. We will not hold demonstrations in front of foreign stores."
Khandelwal also stated that the traders will hold a dharna in Jantar Mantar from 11.30am on Thursday and he added, "It is a band and will not take out any protest march or anything like that. We have received strong support from all the states."
Carrefour started functioning in Jaipur on Dec 2010 after they started their first shop in New Delhi. The popular cash and carry store offers food and other non-food products to professional businesses, institutions, restaurants and local retailers.