Farm unions, traders to join Bharat Bandh today
Several farm organisations protesting the new farm laws decided on Thursday to extend support to the ‘Bharat Bandh’ call given by transport and trade unions on February 26.
Issuing a statement, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) — the umbrella body which has called for the strike — said that all commercial markets across the country will remain closed on February 26 against rising fuel prices, the new e-way bill and the goods and services tax (GST). Around 40,000 trade associations have extended their support to the call for the bandh.
“We highly regret such a dismal attitude and picture of the GST which has compelled the trade union leaders attending the conference to call for a Bharat Trade Bandh,” the statement read.
Extending support to the call, the SKM appealed to all farmers to join the bandh peacefully. Farm leader Dr Darshan Pal said farmers’ bodies support the traders facing hardships due to GST and rising fuel prices.
In a separate statement, the All India Transport Welfare Association (AITWA), which is the apex body of the organised road transportation companies, also extended support to the CAIT’s call, saying transporters “should not be subjected to various penalties issued by the government for any time-based compliance target of transit”.
“The nature of the movement is to reject booking and movement of all e-way bill oriented goods for one day,” said AITWA president Mahendra Arya.
As per the e-way laws, truckers must carry the bill to transport goods from one place to another after online sale of the goods is shown on the GST portal. They have also demanded reduction in fuel prices, saying it was making the transport business inviable.
Calling the GST one of the “most complex taxation systems”, which has resulted in “misery to traders”, the CAIT said: “The GST needs to be simplified to the extent that even a small trader operating his from remote area/s should also be able to comply with GST without any external help.”