A number of trade bodies, farmer organisations, online vendors and political outfits were protesting in public on Monday, with ‘Walmart Go Back’ placards, protesting against the US-based retail giant’s move to buy Indian online marketplace Flipkart.
Protests were organised across the country by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), farmer organisations and smaller trader bodies, as well as the All India Online Vendors Association. They all came together to protest against the $16-billion Flipkart stake sale to Walmart Inc.
In the next phase of the protest, these organisations plan to go to the Supreme Court against the deal.
“Walmart is the world’s largest retailer. It will create unfair competition and an uneven playing field with predatory pricing, deep discounts and loss funding.
Flipkart has exclusive tie-ups and preferred sellers. Even online vendors face discriminatory conditions and Walmart being the owner by virtue of a 77 per cent share is bound to give preference to its inventory.
This will create unhealthy competition, much to the disadvantage of both offline and online sellers,” said SJM co-convener Ashwani Mahajan.
CAIT will have its national convention in the last week of this month. “This protest was the first phase. We will, after consulting all our state representatives during the national convention, be filing a petition with the Supreme Court. This deal would not be allowed to go through,” said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary-general of CAIT.
Trader bodies in India have been filing one petition after another with almost all relevant agencies in the country.
In two months, as many as 25 complaints have been sent to Enforcement Directorate, Competition Commission of India, Reserve Bank of India and income tax department, beside various state agencies, to thwart the deal.
Walmart reiterated its stake purhase in Flipkart was in line with government policy.