GST rollout: Bandh, protests in UP greet new tax regime | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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GST rollout: Bandh, protests in UP greet new tax regime

“Traders have already suffered huge losses after demonetisation and now they have imposed GST without any preparation,” said Sandeep Bansal, president, Akhil Bharatiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal.

lucknow Updated: Jul 01, 2017 15:28 IST
HT Correspondent
Traders protesting against GST in Lucknow.
Traders protesting against GST in Lucknow.(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT PHOTO)

The call for an all India bandh to protest the introduction of goods and services tax (GST) regime evoked a mixed response in the state capital on Friday. The markets in Janpath, Nazirabad, Eveready crossing, Moulviganj and the Chowk sarrafa remained closed.

However, other markets like Hazratganj, Aminabad, Yahiyaganj, Rakabganj, Naka, Charbagh, Alambagh, Sadar, Nishatganj, Gomti Nagar, Indira Nagar, Bhootnath, Ashiana and Rajajipuram remained open.

Read more: GST, India’s biggest tax reform, launched at midnight; PM Modi says ‘Good and Simple Tax’ will help poor

Some traders’ organisations like Lucknow Vyapar Mandal and Udyog Vyapar Pratinidhi Mandal (Kanchhal group) decided to not participate in the closure. Uttar Pradesh Adarsh Vyapar Mandal led by Sanjay Gupta decided to welcome the GST by bursting crackers at midnight in Udaiganj Diamond Dairy area.

There was tension in Hazratganj and Charbagh when some shopkeepers refused to down shutters because they did not agree with the bandh call despite the hardships arising out of GST. Despite pressure, they kept their establishments open.

“Traders have already suffered huge losses after demonetisation and now they have imposed GST without any preparation,” said Sandeep Bansal, president, Akhil Bharatiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal.

Read more| GST launched: All you need to know about India’s biggest tax reform

Banwari Lal Kanchhal, another prominent trader leader and president of Akhil Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Pratinidhi Mandal said, “I want to keep politics at bay. I welcome the GST but the way of imposing it is not good. Traders should not be penalised if they commit any mistake in the first two years of GST implementation. Besides that, officials should play the role of a guide and not act as a punishing authority if the traders are not able to understand the clauses of GST.”

Traders’ organisations say that 90 % of traders do not use computers and do not hire any chartered accountant or even an accountant for their trade but now they will have to hire qualified people for running their establishments..

However, Sanjay Gupta, president of Uttar Pradesh Adarsh Vyapar Mandal said, “Those opposing the GST don’t know its benefits and some trader organisations are opposing it just to score brownie points for themselves. There is no option but to adopt GST so traders must try to welcome the new tax regime.”

Read more| Nitish Kumar, then Sharad Pawar: GST politics exposes cracks in Opposition unity twice within a week

Amarnath Mishra, general secretary of Lucknow Vyapar Mandal, said, “ Let the traders get ready to get the best out of GST. Now trader leaders must try to get the rules made flexible and clauses of punishment removed instead of organising bandhs.”