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SP bid to extend reach to traders

ACCEPTING NINE out of the 14 demands put to him by the traders, Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said development of the State was not possible without the trading community.

india Updated: Apr 29, 2006 01:16 IST

ACCEPTING NINE out of the 14 demands put to him by the traders, Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said development of the State was not possible without the trading community.

Addressing a ‘Vyapar Bachao’ rally organised by the Uttar Pradesh Udyog Vyapar Pratinidhi Mandal on Laxman Mela ground here today, he announced that commercial tax would be rationalised within a week and the GO for doing away with ‘tehbazari tax’ would be issued soon. He also declared that validity of licenses issued under the Sahukari Act would be extended from 1 year to 5 years and the old and unprofitable Nagar Nigam properties would be sold off to their tenants as per the Government norms.

Yadav said his government would soon announce a compounding scheme for cable operators under the entertainment tax, besides increasing cinema industry tax from Rs 1.50 to Rs 3 and offering 12 per cent rate of interest in Mandi Samitis too .The Chief Minister also announced to increase the fire insurance amount for each trader registered with the labour department, from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.

However, he gave no categorical assurance on their main demands including banning multinational companies from opening their departmental stores in UP and bringing a law to discourage online trading. He only said that he would seriously look into the remaining demands.  

Contrary to Vyapar Mandal president Banwari Lal Kanchhal’ repeated claims that the rally would purely be a  non-political event with traders belonging to all the political parties participating in it, the traders’ rally looked much like an election rally. Mulayam Singh Yadav made a fervent appeal to the trading community to vote his party to power with absolute majority in the next assembly polls  and Kanchhal, who is also a Samajwadi Party MP, fully assured the CM on behalf of the state’s traders of supporting the SP wholeheartedly in the coming local bodies and  assembly polls. Kanchhal asked the traders to support the SP  with “vote and note” as no other chief minister ever did so much for the traders during the last  50 years.

Terming the coming assembly polls as quite crucial, Yadav said the country’s picture would change if his party got a two-thirds majority in the elections.

Speaking on the occasion, senior SP leader and UP Development Council Chairman Amar Singh said his was the only party that had accorded honour and respect to the trading community. He said his party’s government firmly stood up against introduction of VAT in UP despite pressure from the Centre, respecting the traders’ feelings. Singh also took a dig at the opposition parties, Congress being his main target. He claimed that law and order in UP was better than in any other state. Singh also said that opponents were spreading rumours regarding  Mulayam Singh’s health. “Do you see any symptom of a disease in him?” he asked.