New Delhi, Mar 16: Over one lakh traders, farmers and hawkers today staged protests in various cities to oppose FDI in multi-brand retail, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) claimed.
"To protest against Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, over one lakh traders, farmers and hawkers observed dharna in 75 cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chandigarh," CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said.
While addressing at the dharna here, he said FDI in retail will generate uneven level playing field.
Besides, Khandelwal said stakeholders stated that instead of inviting FDI in retail, the government should work out a comprehensive strategy to upgrade and modernise the existing retail trade.
The confederation claims a membership of over five crore traders across India.
The policy to allow 51% FDI in multi-brand retail was put on hold by the government in the wake of strong objection from the Opposition and key allies Trinamool Congress and DMK.
To reach at a consensus on the issue of allowing FDI in retail sector, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion had held discussions with small groups of stakeholders, including consumer organisations and farmers in January, but had ignored the CAIT representatives.
Traders and opposition parties had said that allowing foreign retailers like Walmart, Tesco and Carrefour in multi-brand retail in India would lead to loss of jobs for crores of people.