Thiruvananthapuram: Thousands of shop owners
in Kerala on Tuesday downed shutters in protest against the
Centre`s decision to allow 51 per cent equity in multi-brand
The dawn-to-dusk strike call was given by the Kerala
Vyapari Vyavasyi Ekopanasamiti and Vyapari Vyavasayi Samiti,
leading retailers` outfits in the state.
Reports from across the state said the response to the
protest call was total with small, medium and wholesale
outlets remaining closed.
Leaders of the trade bodies said the move would "grievously
harm" about 1 million shop owners and another 2.5 million shop
and business establishment workers in Kerala.
They wanted the Centre to roll back the decision and the
state government to use its powers to ensure that the retail
sector was not opened up to big international players.
The Centre`s decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi
party retail and 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail is
being opposed by opposition parties and various state
governments, who have said the move would harm millions of
small traders and cause huge unemployment in the rural areas.