National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) on Saturday strongly opposed the central government’s decision to allow FDI in retail trade and called upon the street vendors and their organizations to protest the government’s move on streets across the country.
The Association said that the FDI infiltration into retail sector would badly impact the livelihood of vendors and small retailers and the massive contribution of vendors and retailers to city, state and national economies would get drastically down.
Protesting the decision of the government, NASVI national coordinator Arbind Singh said, “The government is showing scant regard to widespread popular opposition to FDI in retail. It seems the internal economic regeneration through augmenting local urban economies in an inclusive manner and, thereby, boosting the national economy is out of the agenda of the government. It is nothing short of national disaster for working poor of the country. We call upon the street vendors and other small retailers to rise in protest against this disastrous decision of the government.” Charging the government with protecting the interests of realtors and mall developers, NASVI coordinator said, “FDI would ruin the retail and help the realty sector as the move would create demand of mall and real estate developers for retail space.”
He said that at one level the UPA government was introducing the Bill to protect livelihood of street vendors, but on the other allowing multinational retail giants to further threaten the livelihood of vendors. It is not overcoming what the corporate and the media call ‘policy paralyses, the fact remains that the government is politically confused.
He also found official government arguments diversionary and said that small farmers and consumers would certainly not get benefitted and a new class of middlemen patronized by Wal-Mart type companies would emerge. The inflation would not come down, prices of essential goods would further escalate and incidence of labour rights violation would be regular.