Traders observe shutdown in Kerala

February 23rd, 2008 - 1:48 pm ICT by admin  

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 23 (IANS) Small and big traders across Kerala observed a shutdown Saturday to demand that retail giants not be allowed to enter the state. The shutdown call was by two organisations of traders. The Kerala Vyapari Vyvasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) will hold a protest meeting at Trissur while the Kerala State Vyapari Vyvasayi Samithi (KSVVS) members will march to the state secretariat here.

Both are demanding that the Left government enact a law to prevent the entry of retail giants.

The Congress-led opposition called for a statewide shut down Tuesday and claimed it was a huge success.

The Kerala High Court has since served notices to all the opposition political parties on shutdowns. Kerala has already witnessed three statewide shutdowns in February.

Barring hotels and medical stores Saturday, all shops are closed and the busy market places at Kochi, Kozhikode and here are deserted.

In addition to calling statewide shutdowns, rival political parties also vie with one another to observe local shutdowns.

Earlier this week, the local Bharatiya Janata Party unit in Chalakuddy in Trissur district, gave a shutdown call after one of their activists was beaten up by security officials attached to a Christian prayer centre.

Kerala Tourism Development Corporation chairman Cherian Phillip has said the tourism industry should be insulated from shutdowns because it affects the industry.

Reports indicate that nearly 80 shutdowns of various types have taken place in the state in the past 18 months, with the loss estimated at about Rs.7 billion for each statewide shutdown.

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