Grocery, automobile, departmental stores function normally

The one-day bandh called by traders to protest against Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the retail sector evoked partial response in the city with several shops remaining open on Thursday.

Kirana and neighbourhood shops remained open in a majority of places. Jewellery, automobile, and other manor stores on the Bandar and Eluru roads remained open. Apart from this, large and branded chain stores, departmental stores, neighbourhood shops and malls also functioned normally.

Shopkeepers, however, said the decision open up retail sector would create an uneven playing field in the country, which would tilt towards multi-national companies and prove to be a nightmare for traders and consumers.

Opposition parties — the CPI, the CPI(M), and the TDP — took out a rally from Lenin Centre to express their solidarity with the trade bodies opposing the government's decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail.

The rally passed through Besant Road, Rajagopalachari Road, Karl Marx Road, and culminated at Lenin Centre. Another rally was taken out in the One Town near Vastralatha.

‘Anti-people'

CPI city secretary K. Subba Raju, CPI(M) State Committee member Ch. Babu Rao, TDP Polit Bureau member Bonda Umamaheswara Rao and others spoke.

They said that they would not allow MNCs to exploit the economy of the country. The decision was anti-people and depicts callous attitude of the Central government.

More than five crore families would come onto the streets. They would lose their jobs or their business. Lakhs of traders would lose their business if the FDI was allowed. “We are with the traders and will do everything possible to oppose the FDI,” they said.

The UPA government was looting the people on many fronts. On the one hand it was squeezing the people under the garb of reforms and on the other allowing corruption to scale new heights. Lakhs of crores of rupees was being swindled, they added.