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Traders continue with their protest, demand exemption from tax purview

Touted by the government as the biggest tax reform since Independence, the GST is meant to boost growth and scrap local taxes that add to overhead costs and stymie businesses.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2017 23:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
GST,Traders,Goods and Services Tax
Textile traders shout slogans as they take part in a bike rally in protest against GST in Hyderabad on Thursday. (PTI Photo)

Textile traders from different parts of the country continued to stage protests on Thursday to oppose the imposition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1.

Traders across Gujarat persisted with their agitation against 5% GST on textiles for the third day on Thursday. As many as 50,000 textile dealers in Ahmedabad shut their shops seeking an exemption for their industry from the tax regime.

In Surat too, the diamond and textile industry hub, the traders observed a bandh.

Gujarat trade union leaders said nearly three lakh traders have extended support to the bandh call across the state.

“As much as 80% of the textile industry depends on small units. How can a person, who sells saris on a two-wheeler or a bicycle, be able to follow the GST norms?” asked Mahendra Ramolia, president Sachin Weavers Association of Surat.

In Uttar Pradesh, the traders of Banarasi sari continued their strike for the third day, demanding that Banarasi sari and silk be exempted from the purview of the new unified tax regime.

“It is not possible for the traders and weavers to register online under GST. Though registration is not mandatory for businesses with annual turnover of ₹20 lakh or less, one would not be able to buy material from non-registered weavers and traders. If he wants to buy material, he would have to pay tax for the non-registered one,” Banarasi Vastra Udyog Association’s general secretary Rajan Bahal said,

In Punjab, nearly 250 shops remained closed in the cloth market of Bathinda for a third consecutive day.

In Delhi, hundreds of furniture traders, manufacturers and shop owners took to the streets on Wednesday, to protest against 28% GST on furniture.

Organised by the Delhi Federation of Furniture , the protest demanded that the tax rate be lowered to 18%.

Protests by textile traders were also reported from other states, including Rajasthan and Telangana.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Jun 29, 2017 23:30 IST

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