Traders organised a “Save Retail Democracy” rally against introduction of FDI in retail at Ramlila Maidan here on Thursday demanding that the Government withdraw the FDI in retail notification which they said had been issued in “utter disregard to ground realties of the Indian retail trade”.

In support of the rally, major retail markets of the city including Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh, Khari Baoli and Chawri Bazar remained closed.

The Confederation of All-India Traders (CAIT) and Khudra FDI Virodhi Rashtriya Morcha, a joint coalition of all retail stakeholders and the organisers of the rally, demanded that instead of inviting global retailers, the Government bring out a national trade policy to upgrade and modernise retail trade in India and constitute a joint national commission with traders’ representative to identify the lacunas and deficiencies of existing retail trade and recommend remedial measures.

Praveen Khandelwal, national secretary general of CAIT, said: “We have enough domestic resources which needs to be exploited to improve infrastructure for retail trade and therefore the country does not need any FDI in retail trade. Besides the advantages propagated by the Government in favour of FDI in retail are based on wrong and baseless facts and figures, not taking into consideration the living examples of the countries whose economy has been distorted by FDI in retail including the US.”

The traders also announced launch of a “Sampark Yatra” in each district of the country from April 1 to June 30.

Leaders of different political parties addressed the rally.