The Straits Times
Published on Sep 17, 2012

Nation-wide strike planned against Indian reforms


NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's opposition parties, trade unions and shopkeepers are set to hold a nation-wide strike on Thursday against the government's decision to open the retail sector to foreign supermarkets.

The main opposition Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) will be joined in the protest by left-wing groups and the Samajwadi Party, which rules the biggest and most populous state of India, Uttar Pradesh.

The Confederation of All India Traders (Cait), an umbrella body of nearly 10,000 trade federations, said it would mobilise for the day of defiance against the reforms which have been welcomed by investors and business leaders.

"The small traders will be wiped out once the multinational giants begin their operations in India simply because they operate on a predatory pricing policy to wipe out all competition," Cait secretary Praveen Khandelwal told AFP.