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GST protest: Bandh call evokes mixed response in Uttarakhand 

‘No effect’ of the protest seen in Dehradun, markets remain closed in Pauri Garhwal and Haldwani

dehradun Updated: Jun 30, 2017 21:05 IST
HT Correspondent 
HT Correspondent 
Hindustan Times
GST protest,Bandh call,mixed response
A market wears deserted look in Pauri Garhwal on Friday.(HT Photo)

The statewide bandh called by business organisations against the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) evoked a mixed response on Friday.

“No effect” of the protest was seen in Dehradun, while markets remained closed in Pauri Garhwal and Haldwani.

In Haldwani, traders took out a rally from Patel Chowk to the SDM court. They said the union government in the name of GST has increased many taxes, which will affect their businesses. However, transporters in the district welcomed the GST by distributing sweets.

In Kumaon region, the bandh was called by Dev Bhumi Udyog Vyapar Mandal, industrial cell of the Congress and other organisations, which said the GST will cause hardships to the traders. The state secretary of regional Udyog Vyapar Mandal, Naveen Verma said that the bandh evoked good response in the Nainital district.

In Garhwal region, markets in the main towns of Pauri, Chamoli and Rudraprayag districts remained closed. It was a “complete” bandh from Srinagar to Badrinath Dham and a majority of hotels and restaurants remained closed, causing inconvenience to the pilgrims and tourists. The Kedarnath route was also hit due to “complete shutdown” in Kotdwar and Pauri.

Devendra Singh, president, Vyapar Sangh Pauri, said the businessmen are ready to pay the GST, but the provision of punishment and arrest of defaulters induces a sense of insecurity among them. “When even the concerned officers are not clear about the GST, how could it be expected from a simple shopkeeper to understand its (GST’s) complications,” Singh asked.

Meanwhile, the state government’s spokesperson Madan Kaushik said, “There is no reason to fear.” “The initial hurdles will be over in some days and businessmen will feel the positive side of GST,” Kaushik told HT.

The long-awaited GST – India’s most ambitious reform in decades – aims to unify the economy into a single market. It comes into force from July 1.

(With inputs from Arvind Moudgil and Abhinav Madhwal)

First Published: Jun 30, 2017 20:35 IST