The traders' community in Thiruvananthapuram district has stepped up fight against the entry of big retail players into the state.
The traders, under the umbrella of the district committee Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi, have planned a districtwide strike on July 31, according to its president Peringammala Ramachandran.
The strike will include a march by the traders' body from Vyapari Bhavan to the City Corporation headquarters and a sit-in in front of the Corporation office.
Urging the state government to make an amendment to the Kerala Municipalities Act to restrict the monopoly chains' entry into the state, Ramachandran charged the administration with going out of the way to issue licences to players, including international biggies.
The traders are an extremely worried lot as the Onam season is round the corner and these players pose serious threat to their business. It has been pointed out that retail chains are currently trying to acquire licences to make their presence felt in the district before the dawn of the Onam season.
The samithi feels that it would only be appropriate if the City Corporation restrains itself from handing out licences in a hurried manner. It has also called upon the corporation to cancel the licences already issued.
State food and civil supplies minister C Divakaran had clarified in the state assembly on July 10 that the state government would initiate steps to check the entry of big retail players into the state.
He had also pointed out the administration's instructions to local bodies across the state against the issuance of licences to domestic and multinational retail players.