Condeferation of All India Traders said Flipkart’s buyout deal will create a monopoly in the retail market and harm smaller store-owners
Close to 10 lakh traders held protests across the country on Monday to protest the $16 billion Walmart-Flipkart deal.
The largest traders’ body in the country, Condeferation of All India Traders (CAIT), said Flipkart’s buyout deal will create a monopoly in the retail market and drive smaller store-owners out of business, according to a Financial Express report.
Secretary general of CAIT, Praveen Khandelwal, told Reuters that this protest was just the first phase. If the government did not listen to their needs, they will decide a future course of action in a national convention to be held later this month.
What is it that the traders are demanding?
A primary demand of the traders is formulation of an e-commerce policy in the country. CAIT had reiterated that Walmart will easily circumvent the FDI policy Press Note No 3 of 2016, since there is no formal policy of e-commerce in India.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry had released the FDI policy Press Note No 3 with guidelines for foreign direct investment on e-commerce. It states that 100 percent FDI is not allowed in business to consumer e-commerce, except in certain circumstances.
Another demand of the traders is setting up a regulator authority dedicated to the e-commerce sector. They demand scrapping of the Walmart-Flipkart deal and have also asked the Competition Commission of India to keep a close watch on the merger.
Walmart recently came out with a statement saying that they have performed the merger in line with norms of the RBI.The statement by the US retail giant read, “Walmart is operating and contributing to the Indian economy for many years now. Through our B2B business (wholesale cash-and-carry) in India, we are not only supporting lakhs of small kiranas succeed, but also helping them modernise. Our continued efforts have been to support domestic manufacturing in India by sourcing locally from SME suppliers, small farmers & women-owned businesses.”