Notes ban: Uddhav lends an ear to city’s unhappy traders
Disillusioned by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) demonetisation move, retail traders from the city met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday seeking his intervention in the matter. The move may rattle the BJP because traders are the party’s traditional supporters and the Sena has already taken a stand against its ally on the demonetisation issue.mumbai Updated: Nov 21, 2016 01:05 IST
Disillusioned by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) demonetisation move, retail traders from the city met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday seeking his intervention in the matter. The move may rattle the BJP because traders are the party’s traditional supporters and the Sena has already taken a stand against its ally on the demonetisation issue.
A delegation of around 25 to 30 traders, representing about two lakh retail traders from various sectors, met Thackeray. The traders demanded making sufficient currency notes available, announcing incentives on VAT and a rebate on income tax to ease the panic in the market. The traders, who have been staunch supporters of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, claimed they met Thackeray after attempts to knock on the doors of Modi and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis failed.
The traders, gathered under the banner of Federation of Traders Welfare Association, claimed they have suffered a loss of around Rs3,500 crore in the past 10 days. They also claimed that except for medical shops, all other businesses have witnessed a 50-60% drop in daily income.
“As an ally in the government, we thought it appropriate to meet Uddhavji to express the challenges we have been facing since demonetisation was announced. He has assured us he will take up the issue with the central government,” said Viren Shah, president of the federation. “We sought an appointment with chief minister Fadnavis twice in the past 10 days, but there was no response. We also have written a letter to Modiji, but have not heard from him. Uddhavji was quick in his response.”
Thackeray has made an appeal to traders to unite and fight against the autocratic decision of demonetisation. Thackeray also said Modi was elected as PM by 125 crore people of the country, but he took the decision to ban currency without taking these same people into confidence. He also said the decision was going to affect future generations of the country.
Shah said, “People from all strata and income segments tend to save rather than spend because the fear psychosis of shortage of the currency notes has badly affected them. Relaxation in sales and income tax should be immediately announced so that consumers get some relief. We are not against initiatives to curb black money, but it should not affect the lives of the common man.”
Traders also express their discontent over the non-responsive approach of the government. “Modiji has promised to bring black money from outside the country, but now the steps taken by him are hurting the common man the most. We helped Modiji come to power, but now we are affected.” The meeting has reportedly rattled the BJP camp because this was the second time the trader community sought help from the Sena. Earlier this year, jewellers protesting against the rise in excise duty imposed by the central government had met Thackeray.
Sources also claimed Sena leaders advised the traders to protest by keeping shops shut, but the traders refused to do this.