Left parties support bandh call by CAIT on Dec 1

New Delhi: Left parties have decided to support the call for a countrywide bandh given by the Confederation of All India Traders on December 1 in protest against government's decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment in retail trade.

CPI(M) and the CPI have asked all their state units to support the bandh call.

The union cabinet decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail trade has been opposed by all opposition parties.

"The CPI(M) Polit Bureau has already given a call to all its units to organise protest actions against this anti-people step and to defend the crores of small retailers and their families whose livelihood is under threat," the party said in a statement.

CPI also expressed full solidarity with the bandh call and asked its state units to render all possible support to make the bandh a success, the party said in a statement.

The parties said all arguments about providing cheaper goods to consumers, better prices to agricultural producers, about preventing wastage, controlling inflation, building backend infrastructure and creating employment have been shown up to be "utterly false".

Terming the decision as classic example of allowing MNCs like Wal-Mart, Carrefour and others to make "super profits at the cost of the Indian people", they said the retail trade chain in India provides employment to nearly 4.5 crores and with their family members it provides livelihood to no less than 20 crores people.

They said South East Asian countries had to impose stringent zoning and licensing regulations in order to restrict the growth of supermarkets after small retailers had started getting displaced.