Traders for ‘anti-hartal year’ in Kerala

Over 30 organisations representing merchants, bus and lorry owners, proprietors of hotels and restaurants and representatives of chambers of commerce will observe ‘anti-hartal year’ in 2019 as they claim that frequent calls for shutdown are affecting the business sector in the State.

At a meeting here on Thursday, they pointed out that Kerala had seen more than 90 hartals so far this year and the State exchequer had incurred heavy losses on account of this. Many investors, including multinational corporations, have had second thoughts about starting business ventures in the State because of the unstable situation here, they claimed.

T. Nasiruddeen, Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samiti (KVVES) president, told the media that they would not close shops and encourage bandhs and hartals henceforth. Buses and lorries would operate services.

Flash hartal

It was the flash hartal called by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last week over the Sabarimala issue that prompted organisations such as the KVVES and the Left-leaning Kerala Vyapari Vyvasayi Samiti to come out against such forms of protest. A group of merchants in Kozhikode’s S.M. Street had declared that they would not support similar protests in the future.

Mr. Nasiruddeen said that a subcommittee would be formed soon involving representatives of those who attended the meeting. The committee would hold conventions in all districts by January 1 and leaders of major political parties would be invited to these events. A delegation of members of the committee would also meet State leaders of all the political parties to convey the common feeling against hartals.

They were also thinking of moving court and approaching the State Election Commission against political parties. Legal opinion would be sought on insuring their properties against attack by party cadre during hartals and the possibility of self-defence mechanisms would be explored.

Film chamber

The Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce had on Tuesday decided not to cooperate with the frequent hartals being held in the State. The chamber said the film industry had suffered serious losses due to hartals being announced by various political parties.

The cinemas will remain open on hartal days from now onwards. Film shooting work will also be held on such days, it said.

The Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry had earlier called for a ban on general strikes. G. Suresh Kumar, president of the Kerala Film Producers Association, had said earlier that political parties should exempt movie production and screening from general strikes. G. Jayapal, general secretary of the Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association, had said its members had resolved to suffer aggression stoically rather than shut down operations on hartal days.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 4, 2021 2:07:10 PM |

Next Story