Mixed response for Bharat Vyapar Bandh, Kerala traders not joining

Mixed response for Bharat Vyapar Bandh, Kerala traders not joining
Representative image

New Delhi: A mixed response was seen on Friday with traders' bodies split over joining the nationwide 'Bharat Vyapar Bandh' call to protest against the issues related to GST and e-commerce.

While the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which gave the Bandh call, claimed that more than 8 crore traders belonging to over 40,000 business organisations across the country, including Delhi, will join it by shutting their commercial establishments, other traders' bodies that PTI spoke to said they have not extended support to the Bandh.

According to CAIT, the Bandh is being supported by the All India Transport Welfare Association, representing nearly 1 crore transporters. The Hawkers Joint Action Committee, a national organisation of hawkers, has also supported the cause, it stated.

However, representatives from other traders' bodies like the Federation of All India Vyapar Mandal and the Bharatiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal told PTI they have not extended support to the Bandh.

Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi and transport associations also said that they will not join the shutdown.

CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal said about 1,500 big and small organisations from all states across the country will protest against GST amendments.

To ensure that the people of the country should not have any inconvenience due to the Bharat Vyapar Bandh, the CAIT has excluded essential services such as medicine shops, milk and vegetables shops from the bandh, he added.

On the other hand, the Federation of All India Vyapar Mandal (FAIVM), which represents traders and retailers, stated that it has not extended support to the Bandh.

FAIVM National General Secretary V K Bansal said it is not in favour of shutting shops in support of some of its demands, although FAIVM accepts and recognises that GST has deviated from its original objective in the past 43 months.

He shared that traders are facing difficulties in taking input tax credit (ITC) and bearing additional financial burden due to denial of ITC.

"Illogical and huge penalties on small error, threat of cancellation of GST registration, not giving opportunity to rectify error in GSTR (GST return) are some of the trouble-making provisions," Bansal said.

He added that all such difficulties are being brought to the notice of the government continuously, and a memorandum was also submitted on February 22 to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through district magistrates from about 200 districts, demanding that the GST law should be re-written.

If the government does not take any action, a reminder memorandum will again be sent to the prime minister through 500 districts, Bansal said.

Bharatiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal Delhi General Secretary Rakesh Yadav said it has not extended support to the Bandh and has submitted a memorandum on the GST-related issues to the government.

"There should be continuous dialogue with the government. The era of hartals is over," said Yadav adding that the organisation has a presence in 28 states across the country.

(With PTI inputs)

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