Kolkata: In order to protest the Centre’s decision of allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, the Federation of West Bengal Trade Association (FWBTA) along with other trade associations have called for a state-wide bandh on Thursday.

Appreciating Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Association Chairman Mahesh Kumar Singhania said, “The bandh is being called on her behalf to protest anti-trade policies of the Centre. The entry of the multi-brand retail companies in the market will have a very bad effect on the small traders.”

Purvanchal Vyapar Mandal, Confederation of West Bengal Trade Association, Chamber of Textile Trade and Industry and other trade associations have extended their support to the bandh.

The associations have said, there are total 5 crore retail traders and the centre’s policy will give a huge blow to their livelihood.

They have appealed all trade agencies, small and medium industries and traders to participate in the bandh to show their support against the government’s policy.

Bandh in Punjab, BJP-SAD at loggerheads

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance is for the first time going to stand against each other on the issue of foreign direct investment in retail.

While the BJP has come out with full support to the call for bandh on December 1 as protest against UPA government in allowing 51 percent FDI in retail sector, SAD has supported the Centre’s stand on it.

On the other hand the state trade associations are all set to raise their demand and protest against the government’s decision by supporting bandh on Thursday.

“The bandh is very crucial for us and we are ready to put our demands before the government,” said Amritlal Jain, member of Punjab Trade Association.

Meanwhile, DGP Anil Kaushik said that the police have beefed up the security arrangements in the wake of nation-wide bandh on Thursday.

JPN/Bureau