Thiruvananthapuram: Nearly one million
traders in Kerala will down shutters on November 29 to protest
the central government`s decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in
the multi-brand retail sector.
The protest call was given by the leading traders` body
in the state, the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samity
(KVVES), on Friday.
The Centre`s decision will grievously endanger the
survival of traders in Kerala, a majority of who are small
and medium-scale shop-owners, KVVES leader T Nazaruddeen said.
"We have some 10 lakh traders in the state. Besides, 25
lakh others are employed by the shop-owners. Their livelihood
would be in danger if the decision is pushed," Nazarudeen said
The KVVES leaders said they have conveyed their concerns
over the matter to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, urging him to
take up the matter with the Centre.
Domestic trade sources here said it would be difficult
for them to compete with multi-national retail giants, who
would be rushing to tap the huge Indian market opened up to
"They have plenty of capital, technology and logistics to
procure goods and keep them for a long time. Local traders
would find the going tough in such a scenario," KVVES sources
"Not only small and medium shop owners, but even
wholesalers would be hit by this decision," a trader from
Kollam town said.
In a major decision, the Union Cabinet yesterday approved
51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, paving the way for
global giants like WalMart to open mega stores in cities with
a population of over one million.