Traders in Guwahati staged a sit-in on July 2 against the proposed acquisition of Indian e-commerce company Flipkart by the international super store giant Walmart.

The traders, under Assam Chamber of Commerce and Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), denounced the deal arguing that it would create ‘unfair competition’ and demanded that the government scrap it.

Protests were held at Christian Basti in Guwahati. Assam Chamber of Commerce Guwahati district president Jayanta Sharma said that the protests were being organised at various districts in Assam where the chamber has its branches.

Further, Sharma added that in the coming days more protests will be organised.

At the end of the protest, a delegation of Assam Chamber of Commerce submitted two separate memorandums to chief minister of Assam and prime minister of India through the deputy commissioner. Apart from the members of Guwahati district committee, more than 100 people from different segment of the society participated in the dharna programme.

CAIT secretary-general Praveen Khandelwal told the media in New Delhi that, “The deal between Flipkart and Walmart will create an unfair competition and uneven playing field and will indulge in predatory pricing, deep discounts and loss of funding.”

The CAIT said if their demands were not met they would decide on their future course of action at the national convention to be held from July 23-25.

In an official statement, Walmart said that, the company is committed to support the domestic manufacturing in India by sourcing locally from SME suppliers, small farmers and women-owned businesses. “A clear testament of that is showcased in our merchandise 95% of which come from within the country. Walmart is operating and contributing to Indian economy for many years now. Through our B2B business (wholesale cash-and-carry) in India we are not only supporting lakhs of small kiranas succeed, but also helping them modernise,” the statement said.

“We believe the combined capabilities of Flipkart and Walmart will create India’s leading e-commerce platform. This will benefit India by providing quality, affordable goods for customers, while creating new skilled jobs and fresh opportunities for small suppliers, farmers, and women entrepreneurs,” the company said.

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