PMK leader S. Ramadoss and traders' associations on Friday urged the Centre not to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail trading, saying that the result would mean destruction of small traders in the country.

“Entry of Indian corporate houses has already severely affected the small traders. Now the Centre has decided to open the gate for multinationals. They would eventually gobble up the 5 crore small traders and 25 crore others who are depending on them,” Dr Ramadoss said in a statement.

He said retail trade in the country was generating revenue to the tune of Rs 25 lakh crore and now foreign companies such as Walmart and Tesco would pocket most of the revenue.

Dr Ramadoss said his party would mobilise traders and fight against the Centre if it refused to give up its decision.

Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangankalin Peravai president T. Vellaiyan said instead of bringing down inflation, the Centre's move would lead to a few controlling the production of food and goods meant for small trade.

“The farmers and small and medium industries would lose their independence. Foreign companies will form a cartel and control prices,” he said.

Mr. Vellaiyan called upon Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to set an example for other States by banning FDI in retail.

“She also should convene a meeting of Chief Ministers of other States to lead the country against the foreign economic invasion,” he added.