The protest will take place across 1,000 locations on July 2, demanding the government to scrutinise the deal.

What will happen to our business 10 lakh small traders to protest over Flipkart deal
Atom Ecommerce Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 18:04

“If Walmart-Flipkart deal is not stopped, then the days are not far away when Walmart will open its own shop in markets and by taking orders online, the goods will be delivered at the door of the consumer and mobile vans of Walmart at various places in the city will play an important role. The consumer will not be allowed to come to the market. In such a scenario, what will happen to our business?”

This is what small traders from across the country are worried about and are knocking on the doors of the government to look into the deal. Having received no response over the past month, 10 lakh traders from across India will be protesting against the deal.

The protest is being organised by Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which has been opposing the deal since even before it was officially announced. It even wrote to Competition Commission of India (CCI), ED and RBI but received no response.

The trader community has three major demands: To stop the Walmart-Flipkart deal, formulation of an ecommerce policy and constituting a regulatory authority for the ecommerce industry.

“The government has had a very indifferent attitude regarding our concerns over the deal. They have taken no cognizance of our demands. Why is the government mum on an issue that will badly affect 6.5 crore small businesses?” Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of CAIT said.

July 2 will see over 10 lakh traders stage a sit-in across 1,000 locations to peacefully protest against the deal. However, there will be slogans raised and effigies of Walmart will be burnt, it has been announced. “We want to remind the government that the issue is very complex and that they should immediately take cognizance of it. We want them to know that under no circumstance will we allow Walmart to capture retail trade of India,” Praveen added.

After protesting, the traders will approach the district collector or magistrate of the area and submit a memorandum.

The memorandum states that the deal between Flipkart and Walmart has several important issues concerning the FDI Policy, data security competition and unfair practices. CAIT says that since the deal has greater ramifications on India’s retail trade, a ‘close scrutiny’ is warranted.

“The Walmart Flipkart deal will prove to be a nightmare for retail trade and economy of the country. There will be enormous job losses and an uneven level playing field will be created with such deals. It’s an open fact that in US, Europe etc, the financial lending entails an interest rate from 1.5 to 2.5 per cent only whereas in India, banks lend at interest rates ranging from 12 per cent to 20 per cent per annum. This difference in interest rates in itself is enough to kill domestic trade. The Govt should take steps to bridge the gap for maintaining level playing field and to encourage healthy business practices in the country,” the mandate states.

CAIT is demanding the government to immediately frame a national policy for ecommerce and constitute a Regulatory Authority to control ecommerce business in India. Till such time, it wants the government to hold the deal in abeyance.

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