India, 50 million people on strike against the opening to foreign supermarkets
The lockout is called by opposition parties and trade unions. Closed schools, offices and shops in several states of the country. Transport suspended for the entire day. With the entry of international chains in the Indian retail market, small shopkeepers fear of losing their job.
Mumbai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 50 million people in India have joined the nationwide strike today, organized by opposition parties and trade unions to protest against the opening of the retail market in foreign large supermarkets. Schools, shops and offices were closed in different parts of the country, and public transport services have been suspended or blocked by the population itself. Membership in the largest on record was led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, ultra-nationalist Hindu party and Leader of the Opposition): Bangalore (Karnataka), the headquarters of large foreign multinationals such as IBM have decided to remain closed for ' whole day. Beyond the inconvenience caused by the various inefficiencies, by the time the lock is of a peaceful nature.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the contested reform on 14 September. It plans to grant 51% of foreign direct investment to large international chains of multi-brand supermarkets (Carrefour, Walmart), and 100% of the brand (Nokia, Reebok). For the prime minister, the measure will give new impetus to the economy of the country, which last year recorded a decline in growth.
According to the opposition instead, the reform will affect directly the small retailers in the country, with the entry of large foreign chains will be forced to close. A shopkeeper in New Delhi said: "These supermarkets can sell products at cost price. This means that many people will lose the place." In India, the retail market provides employment to more than 40 million people. More than 90% of its internal trade is carried out through the small local retailers.
In addition to the opposition, even some allies of the UPA government (United Progressive Alliance) are opposed to the reform of the retail market. Over all, the Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee (also chief minister of West Bengal): if the measure were to go through, the political leader announced the withdrawal of the party from the government and the resignation of six of his ministers by tomorrow. However, even if the Banjeree should keep the promise, the executive Singh could not (yet) a crisis.
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India is extremely hostile to foreign companies2006-04-19 09:47:52 by Repentful
On a number of fronts in just about all sectors of industry but especially in retail:
WHY are Indians better at cricket than at soccer? asks Dilip Modi, boss of Spice Communications, an Indian mobile-telephony firm. Because, he jokes, every time you award an Indian a corner, he opens a shop. India, according to a study published last year*, has the highest density of retail outlets of any country in the worldmore than 15m, compared with 900,000 in America, where the market is, in value terms, 13 times bigger. In India the retail industry is the largest provider of jobs after agriculture, accounting for 6-7% of employment and about 10% of GDP
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