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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Market feels heat as steel makers continue strike

HT Live Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, October 08, 2012
First Published: 00:52 IST(8/10/2012) | Last Updated: 00:53 IST(8/10/2012)

The indefinite strike by manufacturers and traders of steel and its related products in Mandi Gobidngarh entered its seventh day on Sunday.

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Over 600 manufacturers of steel and ancillary products have been protesting against the recently introduced e-tripping system for value-added tax (VAT) collection.

Industrialists stated that steel production worth around Rs. 600 crore a day had been hit due to the protests.

Retailers have reportedly started feeling the heat due to the acute shortage of steel and related products in the market. 

The said the situation would likely worsen in the coming days, as the striking associations had maintained that they would continue the strike till the government rolled back the system.

President, all India Steel Rerolling Mills Association, Vinod Vashisht, said the industry had no option, but to continue their strike though it was causing huge financial losses to them.

Different associations of manufacturers and traders in Mandi Gobindgarh-including all India Steel Re-rollers Association, Small Steel Re-rollers Association, Induction Furnace Association, Steel Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Laghu Udyog Bharti and Traders Association-are part of the protest. 

Meanwhile, to resolve the ongoing impasse, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal is scheduled to meet representatives of various striking associations on Monday.

The president of Ludhiana Induction Furnace Association, KKK Garg, said the representatives of associations would try to find some solution in their meeting with Badal.

Apart from the total strike by the industry in Mandi Gobindgarh, the steel and related products manufacturers in Ludhiana have also brought down the production to half of their capacity as a mark of protest. 

Officials of excise and taxation department have maintained that the new system would help in curbing bogus billings.

A Venu Prasad, commissioner, excise and taxation, had categorically stated last week that the system had been merely introduced to streamline the tax collection system.

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