Uttar Pradesh traders will launch a statewide rath yatra on November 9 against public corruption and the impact of multinational companies (MNCs) on small retailers.
The over five-week long ‘Vyapar Bachao, Desh Bacho Rath Yatra’ would start from Lucknow and traverse through 70 districts in the populous state. The event would culminate here on December 17 with a rally of traders.
The rath yatra would highlight other burning issues as well, such as inflation, futures trading, value-added-tax (VAT) and rising petroleum prices.
It assumes assume greater significance in the wake of the UP Assembly poll scheduled early next year. A couple of years back, some prominent traders’ leaders had joined the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) with much pomp and show. However, now that honeymoon is over.
“The yatra will witness the participation of lakhs of traders against corruption and the growing influence of MNCs on small time Indian traders,” Akhil Bharatiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal president Sandeep Bansal told Business Standard.
Asked if the campaign had political undertones in the backdrop of the impending Assembly poll, Bansal said during the course of the rath yatra, he would talk to the local traders in the respective districts and if a consensus emerged, it would be announced at the Lucknow rally.
“Similar drives would also be launched in other states, such as Madhya Pradesh and Haryana at a later stage,” he informed.
The campaign also seeks to apprise the state government of self tax determination and lacuna in VAT administration.
The Mandal has been at the forefront of traders’ agitations on issues, such as VAT and futures and commodities trading, foreign direct investment in retail sector and entry of multi nationals.