Traders body CAIT threatens pan India protest against Walmart-Flipkart deal


Ever since the announcement of Flipkart acquisition by Walmart, associations who represent traders, sellers as well as political lobby group have been opposing the deal. Two months have been passed but the agitation amongst these representative bodies is increasing day by day.

The dillydallying in the decision by regulators may result in a witnessing of the ugly side of the associations as traders body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has threatened to go for a nationwide protest against the US-based retail giant.

According to CAIT, it has been approaching the government to bring reforms in e-commerce from last five years but the slow response led to encouragement of this deal which can cause a threat to the e-commerce industry.

The deal will increase malpractices manifold in the spectrum of e-commerce by manipulating and controlling the retail sector including several other aspects of online commerce, said CAIT in its statement to PTI.

The development comes against the backdrop of commerce minister Suresh Prabhu’s recent statement on the deal. Prabhu explained that all the complaint against violation of FDI norms has been forwarded to responsible agencies such as Enforcement Directorate and RBI.

He also added that the commerce ministry is not going to make any judgment on this before any final report from the authorities.

CAIT, which represents about 70 million merchants has been seeking Prabhu’s intervention in the case to avoid loss funding and predatory pricing in e-commerce in the absence of any monitoring mechanism.

Meanwhile, Fair trade regulator the Competition Commission of India (CCI) may recommend structural changes to the proposed $16-billion Walmart-Flipkart deal to address possible competition concerns.

It is also expected that the regulator might also take cues from a ruling in South Africa with respect to Walmart- Massmart deal, which was announced in 2010.

At present, up to 51 per cent FDI is allowed in multi-brand retail, subject to certain conditions — one of which is that at least 30 per cent of the value of procurement of manufactured/processed products purchased should be locally sourced.

The development was first reported by DNA.

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