Trading activities came to a virtual halt across Kerala on Wednesday as shop owners downed shutters to protest against the policies of the Central and state governments, including the decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail.
Early reports from different centres said the response to the shut-down call given by traders' unions like Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Samiti (KVVES) has been total, especially in urban areas.
Majority of hoteliers also joined the dawn-to-dusk protest.
Other demands of the traders include correction of anomalies in implementation of the state Food Safety Act.
Leaders of the traders bodies wanted the Congress-led UDF Government in the state to come out in clear terms that FDI would not be permitted in the retail sector in the state.
"Though chief minister Oommen Chandy has said that FDI in retail will not be allowed in Kerala, the government is yet to come out with an unambiguous policy statement on the issue," a KVVES leader said.
They said KVVES was opposed to FDI in retail anywhere in the country as it would wipe out small and medium retailers in the country.
The hoteliers had voiced concern over authorities invoking provisions of the Food Safety Act in the wake of spurt in cases of stale and unhealthy food from eateries in different parts of the state.