According to recent reports, traders and shopkeepers have decided to oppose the Walmart-Flipkart deal vehemently and are ready to move the Supreme Court (SC), if required, to protect their interests.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Monday (June 2) held large-scale protests across the country against the proposed Walmart-Flipkart deal. The protests were held at around 1,000 places in 500 cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Surat, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru.
However, the first mass-level protest by the CAIT wasn’t a big success. The traders’ organisation had expected a gathering of one million protesters, but only a few turned up.
Since the announcement of the deal between Walmart-Flipkart for $16 Bn, the All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) and the CAIT have been asking the government to revoke the deal in the interest of local retailers.
A LiveMint report said that traders and shopkeepers may knock on the doors of the Supreme Court if any action is not taken to block the Walmart-Flipkart deal.
The national secretary general of the CAIT, Praveen Khandelwal, said: “We will continue with the protests and we will wait for the response of the government. The CAIT will also hold a national convention from July 23-25 in the capital to discuss the issue threadbare and to formulate future actions. The mega-deal will trigger unfair competition and an uneven level playing field for the domestic business and the unorganised sector.”
“This is the first phase of our protest. And if the government doesn’t listen, we will decide our future course of action at our national convention in Delhi later this month,” said CAIT.
While CAIT is adamant that the deal should be rolled back, Walmart believes that its acquisition of Flipkart is in line with the government’s FDI policy and that the deal will create more opportunities for sectors such as manufacturing, SMEs, and even small suppliers.
Walmart-Flipkart Deal: Facing Opposition Since May
The deal between Walmart and Flipkart, worth $16 Bn, was proposed in May this year. Since then, several industry bodies been protesting against the deal. The CAIT had even written to the finance minister claiming that the deal would be “cancerous” for the Indian retail industry.
Prior to that, the AIOVA and the CAIT had also approached the Competition Commission of India (CCI) while other associations such as the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, All India Kisan Sabha, Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) and traders and shopkeepers, also protested against the deal.
Not only this, the representative bodies of e-sellers too raised a demand for setting up of a regulatory authority to oversee e-commerce and marketplace activities and to monitor their policies towards merchants.
[The development was reported by ETRetail.]