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Is the 'state' in control?

The growth in the number of medical chain shops across the state has been a major area of concern for the smaller medical retail and wholesale shops. In order to put a check to, and protest the growth of such chain shops, the Karnataka State Chemists and Druggists Welfare Association was formed. Promising all support, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike President Narayana Gowda inaugurated the association on Sunday.

Small medical shops cannot afford to give discounts which the chain shops like Pill & Powder, Healthway, to name a few, are giving. The price of medicines in these chain shops are comparatively less due to which people flock to these chain stores, instead of going to small retail stores.

The association has around 1500 members from across the state, with a majority from Bangalore. Jayanagar MLA Vijay Kumar was also present. Cultural programmes including dance, puppet show and drama, entertained the crowd of 600 that had gathered.

The above report appeared in the New Indian Express on Oct 6th. Competition is inevitable amongst businesses. Instead of re-inventing and innovating one's own business in order to remain ahead of competition, when an association suggests adoption of mafia tactics, it holds a very dangerous portent. Is the KRV actually going to lend its support to such a move? If so, in what way is it supposedly providing "rakshane'" to karnataka?

Once again, it is a question of enforcement of law & order, as at Does the state want to organise itself in the proper way to handle these matters, or is it going to abdicate its responsibility, thereby allowing various kinds of mafias to take over?

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