More States Pass Resolutions Against FDI in Retail

September 27th, 2012

States of Tamil Nadu and west Bengal have passed resolution against FDI in retail. So no Walmart in Chennai or Kolkata. In the meantime, Walmart opened its 18th wholesale store of India in Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh.


Public Hearing on FDI in Retail

September 27th, 2012

In a first of its kind, East Delhi Municipal Corporation is organizing a PUBLIC HEARING on FDI in Retail on 28th Sept. at 1.30 pm at its headquarters of Patparganj Industrial area. The Hon’ble Mayor along with a panel of experts would be hearing peoples’ views on the issue. A report of the public hearing would be later presented to the Hon’ble Leftinent Governor of Delhi.



2002 Letter Showing No Proposal to Government for FDI in Retail

September 26th, 2012

Thanks to the Federation of Associations of Maharashtra, Mumbai. Today, I have seen a copy of the letter of December 20, 2004 from the Federation (reference may be accessed in my album), in which they have mentioned that they wanted to know in 2002 whether the Government was considering any proposal of permitting FDI in retail.

In response, the-then Leader of the Opposition of Rajya Sabha and present Prime Minister of India, in his letter dated December 21, 2002, assured the Federation that there was no proposal before the Government for permitting FDI in retail trade.

A copy of the letter of Shri Manmohan Singh is posted for your knowledge.

PM Letter



India Strikes Against FDI Retail

September 20th, 2012

Today’s call for a nationwide strike (Bharat Bandh) by trade unions of street vendors, small traders, and most of the political parties from left to right and including of parties within the Govt.  and parties supporting the Govt. was historical. Millions of retailers and thousands of trade associations observed the bandh demanding rollback of FDI in multi-brand retail. All major markets were closed through out India. Public transport was off the roads and colleges, schools, offices and transport services remain shut in most part of India. Trains were blocked by political activists of BJP, SP and CPI (ML) in many places including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand. The station Master of Patna Railway Station was locked. The impact of the strike was also seen in states of the North East. The bandh was total in Manipur. Banks, markets, shops and educational institutions were closed, with government offices recording low attendance in Meghalaya. Railway, road and others services were heavily impacted in Jharkhand. Most colleges reported only 20-50% attendance in Mumbai.
In a sit in protest organised jointly by our campaign allies prominent national leaders from left to right shared the dais. NDA Convenor and JD(U) President Sharad Yadav asked the Congress to remove Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for this “attack on the bread of butter of 25 crore people”, while addressing the protest at Jantar Mantar. Eight parties including left parties and SP took out protest march towards Parliament and Mulayam Singh Yadav, Prakash Karat, AB Bardhan, Sitaram Yechury and Chandrababu Naidu courted arrest in parliament police station. BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu was detained in Hyderabad whereas Yeddyurappa and Ananth Kumar got arrested in Bangalore.
On the other hand, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said to media that the nation-wide strike has caused a huge damage to the Indian economy and the common people. Big Business lobby group, CII reported to media that the nation-wide strike against the government decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail have caused losses to the tune of Rs12,500 crore ($2.25 billion) to the Indian economy.
For Photos click:

Update on Bharat Bandh Strike

September 18th, 2012

As the Govt. is in crisis after the pull out by 19 members of parliament of the Trinmool Congress in opposition to FDI in Multi Brand Retail, India is all set for a historical Bharat Bandh (all India strike) on 20th September. Our campaign allies including associations of street vendors, hawkers, independent shopkeepers, trade unions are all set for a complete bandh on 20th September to oppose FDI in retail.

All major markets would keep their shutters down throughout India. Markets in Kerala and Himachal Pradesh were closed on 18th Sept to oppose FDI in retail. Markets of both states will again remain closed on 20th September. As per reports of various trade and hawkers associations, there would be total bandh in other states as well including Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Gujrat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Tamilnadu.

In Delhi, more than 300 trade associations would actively participate in the strike. Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh, All Delhi Chemist Association, Delhi Hindustani Mercantile Association, Kirana Committee, Chemical Merchants Association, Delhi Grain Merchant Association, Khari Bawli Sarva Vyapar Mandal, Chandni Chowk Sarva Vyapar Mandal, Delhi Electrical Traders Association, Federation of Delhi Trade Association, Rang Rasayan Vyapar Sangh, New Lajpat Roy Market Traders Association, Paper Merchant Association, Delhi Wedding and Greeting Cards Merchants Association, Delhi File Vikreta Sangh, Delhi Iron and Hardware Merchant association, Delhi Steel Tools and Hardware Traders Association, Federation of Sadar Bazar Traders Association, Confederation of Sadar Bazaar Traders Association, Kamla Nagar Jawahar Nagar Traders Association, Naraina Iron and Steel Merchant welfare association, Karol Bagh Traders Federation, Ajmal Khan Vyapar Mandal, Delhi Scooter Traders Association, New Delhi Traders Association, General Machinery Merchants Association, Readymade Garments Association, Khan Market Traders Associations, Automotive parts merchants association, Tractor parts merchants association, peepal Mahadev Traders Association, Daal and Besan Millers Association, Lajpat Nagar Traders Association, Laxmi Nagar Traders Association, Association of Readymade garment dealers, Barna steel metal merchant association, Delhi canvas merchant association, Delhi Tyres Dealers Association, Delhi Building Material Merchant association, Delhi Vegetable Oil Traders Association, Rajdhani Oil Suppliers Association, Gaffar Market Vyapar Mandal, Karol Bagh ewellers Association, Subhash Road Readymade Garment association, Kutub Road Traders Association, Surgical Traders Association, Sri Niwas puri Shopkeepers Association, Chandrawal Road Shopkeepers Association, Beeranpura Handloom Traders Association, Delhi Glass Bottles Traders Association, Ashok Vihar Traders Association, Shahadara Traders Association and many more have extended their support to the bandh.

Street Vendors and shopkeepers would organize protests and burn effigies of FDI in Retail in over hundred places through out Delhi. Leaders of various political parties are expected to join these protests. National Hawker Federation, Confederation of All India Traders, Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal etc. would organize protests at the Parliament as well.


Trinamool Congress Pulls out of UPA, Mamata accuses Congress of Acting Unilaterally

Agencies  Kolkata, September 18, 2012
An aggressive West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday withdrew her Trinamool Congress’ support to the Congress-led UPA government. Banerjee told a news conference that Trinamool’s six ministers — one cabinet and five ministers of state — would submit their resignations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday.
“Our ministers will submit their resignations to the Prime Minister. We are withdrawing our support from UPA-2,” Banerjee said, speaking mainly in Bengali.
The decision was taken at a three-hour meeting of Trinamool leaders following a hike in diesel prices, allowing FDI in multi-brand retail and capping the number of subsidized cooking gas cylinders to consumers.
The Trinamool, with 19 members in the Lok Sabha, was the second largest constituent in the multi-party UPA.
The decision brings the UPA’s effective strength in the 545-seat Lok Sabha from 273 to 254, which is slightly below the half-way mark.
This would make the UPA more dependent on the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, both of which extend outside legislative support to the UPA regime.
At her presser, Banerjee lashed out at the Congress, saying the FDI decision was unveiled to divert attention from the coal blocks allocation controversy involving the government.
She accused the Congress of acting unilaterally, without giving due respect to its allies. “We cannot tolerate this.”
“If FDI is allowed in retail market, where will the retailers go? There will be a disaster,” she said.
The Trinamool chief demanded to know why the government was not making efforts to bring back the huge volumes of black money allegedly stashed by Indians in foreign banks.
“Somebody has to bell the cat,” she said, explaining her decision.
Ahead of the crucial meeting of Trinamool Congress (TMC) parliamentary party, prominent leader Saugata Roy on Tuesday indicated that party could pull out its ministers from the Union council of minister if its  rollback demands on FDI in retail, cap on LPG subsidy and diesel price hike were not met with.
Asked to comment on Union finance minister P Chidambaram’s statement that the government will not roll back the decisions Trinamool Congress said “We know the Prime Minister has the last word.”
Trinamool Congress (TMC), a regional party based in West Bengal state and led by firebrand politician Mamata Banerjee, had been a thorn in the side of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s administration since elections in 2009.
Banerjee has already described the reform package as “anti-people”, saying a hike in diesel prices will spur inflation and that the opening of the retail sector to foreign multi-nationals will hurt millions of small traders.
Last December, Banerjee’s refusal to accept retail reforms forced the government into a humiliating U-turn but the policy was re-launched last week.
“If the (government) does not roll back the hike in diesel price and withdraw decisions in multi-brand retail, we will take decisions, however hard they may be,” she had told crowds in Kolkata at the weekend.
The TMC, which has six ministers in the government and 19 MPs in the 543-seat Parliament, is due to meet in Kolkata town hall on Tuesday and make an announcement later in the day.
Manmohan Singh insists the diesel price rise and economic reforms are needed to reverse a slowdown in economic growth and to boost public finances.
On Friday, his cabinet cleared new rules inviting foreign supermarkets such as Walmart into the retail sector and allowing foreign airlines to take stakes in domestic carriers.
The measures came soon after diesel rates were raised by a steep 12 percent, sparking protests across the country.
Trade unions, backed by the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have called for a nationwide strike on Thursday.

Mamata Banerjee Opposing FDI in Retail

September 18th, 2012
Trinmool Congress led by West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee pulls out from the Govt. opposing FDI in Retail. Her ministers would submit resignation to the Prime Minister on Friday.
We all have given a call for all India strike on thursday. Almost all political parties are supporting the shut down. Believe me everything in India would be on halt except essential services on Thursday. We would be holding protests as well.
Dharmenda Kumar