Special Correspondent

Says big players will kill retail trade "VAT, online trading reason for increase in prices of essential commodities"

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangankalin Peravai fears retail trade will soon turn extinct if big Indian and multi-national companies are allowed to enter the fray.

Already, small vegetable vendors in Chennai are facing severe competition after Reliance Fresh set up shop. Some foreign firms are also planning their franchise in the State shortly.

If these companies are allowed to start operations, lakhs of small traders will be thrown out of their vocation, the Peravai said.

Stir threatened

It will stage demonstrations if Reliance Fresh opens new shops in the city and boycott the suppliers of Reliance and its products, Peravai president T. Vellaiyan told reporters here on Wednesday. He blamed the increase in prices of essential commodities on the introduction of value-added tax and on-line trading.

The Peravai's next course of action will be decided at the traders' day meeting scheduled for May 5 in Salem. It will invite leaders of political parties supporting its demands for the meeting.