In an attempt to pressurise the Union Government to roll back the decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, an “anti-FDI” protest march was organised by the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) at Jantar Mantar here on Wednesday. The protesters charged the Union Government with ignoring the interests of the working class and protecting the interests of the multi-national retail giants.

NASVI president Arbind Singh, who led the street vendor's protest, highlighted the “irony” in the Government’s move to allow FDI in retail. “At one level the UPA government is introducing the Bill to protect livelihood of street vendors, but at the same time, multinational retail giants are being allowed in the retail sector, which will threaten the livelihood of vendors.”

“You cannot overcome, what the corporate and a section of mainstream media has termed ‘policy-paralysis’, by bringing in multi-nationals and threatening the livelihood of millions of vendors,” Mr. Singh added.

While explaining the logic of the protest, Mr. Singh argued: “FDI in essence, means direct foreign infiltration into domestic economy which will ruin the retail. It is only going help the real estate as the move would create demands for malls and real estate developers for retail space.”

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