Himachal traders strike against reform in retail sector

Shimla : Shops and other commercial outlets remained closed Thursday in Shimla and other towns of Himachal Pradesh , as traders protested against the government’s decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in the retail sector .

The shutdown was complete in the state capital Shimla as well as Solan , Manali , Kullu , Mandi , Dharamsala , Hamirpur, Bilaspur , Una , Nahan , Chamba and a host of other towns across the hill state .

This caused great inconveniance to tourists in all resort towns of the state as they found no places to eat out .

Only an odd shop selling medicines could be seen open . The streets wore a deserted look at most places .

However traffic plied smoothly with no reports of traffic blockades by protesters .

“We are registering our protest against the union government’s move to allow FDI in retail as it will hit small traders hard ,” said Ramesh Sood , president of the Shimla Traders Association .

The shutdown got complete support of the ruling BJP and also the CPIM . Both the political parties held separate protest rallies at many places .

In a 20 year career published widely. He has worked for the BBC, AFP, The Statesman, IANS and the Business Standard . Known for his hard hitting writing and occasional off-beat stories. He lives in Shimla.

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