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Trinmool Congress led by West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee pulls out from the Govt. opposing FDI in Retail. Her ministers would submit resignation to the Prime Minister on Friday.

We all have given a call for all India strike on Thursday. almost all political parties are supporting the shut down. Believe me everything in India would be on halt except essential services on Thursday. we would be holding protests as well.

New Delhi 14th Sept. 2012

PRESS STATEMENT

Immediately Stop the removal of the suspension on FDI in Retail

Leaders of mass organizations of street vendors, workers, small shopkeepers, small manufacturers, joined by civil society organizations, consumer activists, environmentalists strongly condemned the Govt. of India decision to remove the suspension on FDI in multi brand retail.

In a press statement issued here today, Mr. Shaktiman Ghosh, General Secretary, National Hawker Federation, said that the decision has nullified the Govt. approval to Street Vendors (protection of livelihood and regulating street vending) Bill 2012. He said that livelihood of hawkers cannot be protected merely by creating vending zones if corporations are allowed to out-compete them in streets. He demanded a complete ban all corporations selling fruits, vegetables, groceries, and daily use goods. He also demanded that no corporate store should be allowed within a 2 km radius of areas with a density of hawkers. He informed that National Hawker Federation would organize protests on Monday and Tuesday in all over India.

Dharmendra Kumar, Director, India FDI Watch said that the Govt. decision is a blow to parliamentary democracy and alleged that Govt. has backstabbed the nation after promising in the parliament to not to take the decision unless a consensus is reached. Mr. Kumar further alleged that India is kneeling down under pressure from US and European governments and their industry lobbyists as it still has no binding commitment on multi-brand retail services in multilateral, regional or bilateral agreements. He termed the cabinet decision for 51% in multi-brand retail as letting off wild bulls of giant retailers without checks and balances such as regulations on number, size, location and provision of an economic needs test for opening a store as is the case in many countries around the world.

Kishan bir choudhary, Chairman, Bhartiya Krishak Samaj (Indian Farmers Forum) stated that FDI in retail would lead to monopoly of agricultural market and farmers would be taken for a ride by corporations. FDI backed retailers would dictate terms to farmers under contract farming and would turn independent farming families as bonded labour.

Vijay Prakash Jain, General Secretary, Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal (All India Federation of Traders and Manufacturers) termed the cabinet committee on political affairs decision as disaster for small traders and micro, small and medium industries.

Mr. Mohan Gurnani, President, Federation of Associations of Maharashtra said that our Govt. is refusing to learn from the experiences around the world and even failing to learn from its own experience of not being able to stop foreign cash and carry wholesalers from circumventing rules. He said that the infamous retail giant of the world Wal-Mart has entered from the back door using Bharti-Airtel as its fig leaf circumventing the wholesale cash & Carry permission. This is a gross transgression of the intention behind Wholesale Cash and Carry Permission. He accused that Bharti is only a thin cover for Wal-Mart’s profit making proclivities as it will only function as a fixed margin operator. The warning bells are dire for our small manufacturers, suppliers, shopkeepers and street vendors.”

Mr. Dineshwar Tiwary, a consumer activist said, “To justify themselves corporations are creating myths. They are creating the myth that they will sell cheap and fresh. But, consumers will have to pay for the high input of corporate retail such as real estate, air conditioning, educated salesmen and women, wasteful consumption of electricity and many more. In the long run, consumers will be the ultimate looser, as once corporate retail drive out their competitors and their monopoly is established they will buy low and sell at high price.

For further information pl contact:

Dharmendra Kumar at 9871179084 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Organizing Reports from ACORN Bangalore for May, June, and July 2012

MAY:

Weekly Meetings:

Regular meetings were held in Hebbal:.Yelahanka New town, Shivajinagar, Yeshwanthpur and In K.R. Puram:

We had a protest in front of Town Hall along with our member Associations which was organized by NCL.

One more meeting was held on the street vendors issue with the organizations and the logistics and other issues were discussed. Issac from Action aid, Selva from Jansahayog, Maithri from ALF, Vinay from Beedhi vyaparigala hakkothaya Okkoota, Swathi from Equations, Srinivas from AKRVO K.R.Puram , Nirmal from Yeashwanthpur traders association, Zamir from Shivajinagar street vendors association participated. It was also decided that Suresh from ACORN, Issac from Action aid, Vinay from Beedhi vyaparigala hakkothaya Okkoota will meet on 29th to finalize the draft of the study questionnaire.

And again we met on 29th and prepared the questionnaire for the study and it was circulated among the members for suggestions.

JUNE:

Weekly Meetings:

Hebbal, Yelahanka New town, Shivajinagar ,Yeshwanthpur,and In K.R. Puram

Diabetes screening camp was held in Muthyala nagara slum.

Meeting on street vendors issue was held at ALF office to discuss about the study in the issue and the financial participation.

Meeting on the homeless shelter, ACORN, ALF, Action aid IGSSS and other organizations attended. The meeting focused on the issues of allotting the shelters to the NGO’s and the process of the allotment adopted by the government of Karnataka.

Meeting on Road widening and the affected communities. ESG, Hasiru Usiru, and 12 other RWA’s and 2 more organizations participated. A network of the organizations was launched and named as Bangalore Transportation Projects Impacted Communities Network (BATPIC network). It was decided to hold a Press conference on 17th of July.

The registration of the Street vendors union was rejected on the grounds that the methodology adopted to identify the street vendors was not acceptable to the officials and was assured to get it right through a form issued by the Labour Department.

40 street vendors in Vijayanagar got their Identity cards issued by the Department of Labor through which they will be eligible for the various social security schemes from the government.

JULY:

Weekly Meetings:

Regular meetings were held at Hebbal, Yelahanka New town, Shivajinagar, Yeshwanthpur, K.R. Puram, Vijayanagar, Basavanagudi, and Malleshwaram.

A blood donation camp was conducted at KR Puram Market on 1st of July as a mark of protest. 850 vendors donated their blood. The blood donated was handed over to the Karnataka Health department and a letter to the BBMP commissioner and the Mayor was submitted stating the people at the market would give their blood rather giving up the market for construction of the commercial complex.

A press meet was held at the Bangalore Press club on the road widening and its affected communities under the banner BATPIC network. A joint statement was released to draw the attention of the government on the effect of the projects of the government and also to suggest some of the alternate solutions.

A protest march from K.R. Puram to the BBMP office was organized by ACORN demanding for 50 specific market spaces for vendors all over Bangalore, and to implement the Street vendors’ policy in Karnataka. Over 2500 vendors from different parts of Bangalore participated in the protest. The participation was from, Malleshwaram and Shivajinagar – Bangalore Centre, Hebbal, K.R. Puram and Yeshwanthpur – Bangalore North, Basavanagudi, Jayanagar, Banashankari – Bangalore South. There were other organizations also extending their support for the cause. And 25 organizations also sent their representative to be part of the march.

Follow up of the registration of the Union for the vendors.

In Hebbal verification by the government officials for issuing of ID card was over. Of the 150 vendors 148 vendors will be getting their ID cards by the end next month.

 

Homeless citizens hoisted the national flag for the 65th anniversary of Independence Day in India.



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