Bhopal: Rs 500 crore business hit as traders down shutters against FDI in retail

Retail business to the tune of Rs 500 crore was affected in state capital on Friday following a day-long nationwide bandh called by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT). The CAIT has been protesting the decision of the Union Cabinet to allow 51 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail. It was also against the US retail giant Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart for $16 billion.

City’s retail ‘Kirana’ singularly faced over Rs 100 crore loss on the day. Traders at Bhopal mandi incurred loss of around Rs 2 crore on the day, while the figure stand at Rs 400 crore in the mandis across the state.  Markets in the city wore a deserted look as most of the business establishments remained closed in response to the bandh. Extending support to the shutdown, the traders and retailers at Sarafa Bazar, Loha Bazar, Chowk Bazar, Sindhi Market, Bairagarh, Hamidia Road, Godda Nakkas, Jumerati, Thok Bazar and other commercial complexes kept their shutter down.

Participating in the protest, 150 establishments and units in Loha bazar did not operate on the day. Satish Gangrade, president of New Market Businessmen Association, claimed that due to bandh retailers at the market faced loss worth Rs 3 crore. Anupam Agrawal, Akhil Bharatiya Vyapar Mandal Mahasangh general secretary claimed that Kirana Bazar retailing oil, sugar, pulses etc suffered Rs 100 crore loss due to bandh.

Retailers take to streets
While observing complete shutdown, traders, businessmen took to street to voice their protest against government decision. Raising slogans against the Walmart-Flipkart deal and foreign direct investment in retail,  the protestors took out a rally in the city.

Chemists observe total shutdown; loss Rs 15 crore
All chemist shops and medicine wholesale points the city were closed on the day as part of the nation-wide strike called by All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD). Medicine business worth Rs 15 crore was affected due to strike. The AIOCD has called the bandh to oppose the government’s decision to regularise online pharmacies, stating e-pharmacy poses threat to their business and could lead to the risk of drug abuse.

Truckkers keep vehicles off roads, Rs 30 crore biz hit
Truck operators also extended support to the protest and kept their vehicles off roads, thus affecting Rs 30 crore business. All India truckers association president Thakur Lal Rajput said the association support retailers and are against the FDI in multi-brand retail and merger of foreign company Walmart and indigenous company Flipkart. No consignments were taken and no booking was made as mark of protest of the government decision, said Rajput.

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