Strike Against Reforms Halts Parts of India

Posted September 20th, 2012 at 6:40 am (UTC-5)
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Protesters opposed to a series of proposed economic reforms in India have disrupted traffic and forced some businesses and schools to close as part of a nationwide strike.

Tens of thousands of protesters took part in the strike Thursday, with the effects being felt hardest in opposition strongholds such as Bangalore and Kolkata. Businesses remained open in the capital, New Delhi, and in the financial hub Mumbai.

The reforms proposed last week by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh include a hike in diesel prices and allowing foreign retail companies such as Walmart to operate in India.

Critics say the measures will lead to job losses and force smaller local shops to close, while economists predict the reforms would boost India's slowing economy.