CAIT to organise traders’ protests during Bezos’ visit

New Delhi: Traders across 300 cities of the country would hold protests under the aegis of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) during Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ India visit next week.

The call for protests come after the traders’ body last week wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a meeting with him prior to his meeting with Bezos.

In a statement, CAIT said: “The forthcoming visit of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to India is on January 15 and will see huge protests of traders across the country under the banner of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in association with All India Mobile Retailers Association, All India Consumer Products Distributors Federation and more than 5,000 trade bodies.”

The traders will hold ‘Halla Bol’ protest demonstrations in about 300 cities of different states all over the country, it said

In its statement, the organisation reiterated that it has requested the Prime Minister to meet its delegation and said the meeting “will enable CAIT to apprise the Prime Minister about evil designs of Amazon which has already destroyed business of lakhs of small traders in the country”.

CAIT National President B.C. Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal alleged that the visit of Bezos to India is to build a wrong and false narrative that Amazon is empowering small traders through its e-commerce portal.

The traders’ body further said the e-commerce major should make public what it has done so far to empower the existing retailers on their platform, including the details of the quantum of business done by retailers annually and whether anyone of them is listed as top 20 sellers during last five years.

It said that both Amazon and Walmart-led Flipkart are habitual offenders of policy and law and are convicted several times in various countries for their anti-trust policies and other allegations.

Traders of brick and mortar shops have been protesting under the aegis of the CAIT against what they call “deep” discounts on e-commerce platforms, more so, during the sales seasons which these platforms organise.

According to the traders’ body, the discounts on the online platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart are predatory in nature and the government should ensure price parity in online and offline markets.

CAIT has also been alleging violation of FDI norms by the platforms, which both the e-commerce majors have denied.

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