Bharat Bandh – over eight crore traders across India shut shop in protest against rising fuel prices and changes in GST rules
- Industry body, The
Confederation of All India Traders( CAIT), has called for the Bharat Bandh.
- Traders are protesting against the rising
fuel prices, ‘draconian’ rules in Goods and Services Tax (GST), as well as the rising power of foreign e-commerce companies in India.
- As many as eight crore
tradersfrom over 40,000 trade associations have shut shop today, to mark their participation in the protest.
AdvertisementStreets across India bore a barren look as traders across the country shut shop on Friday. The traders are protesting against the rising fuel prices, ‘draconian’ rules in Goods and Services Tax, as well as the rising power of foreign e-commerce companies in India.
The industry body, The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), called for the Bharat Bandh and is also supported by the All India Transport Welfare Association (AITWA), the apex organisation of about one crore transporters of the country.
As many as eight crore traders from over 40,000 trade associations have shut shop today, to mark their participation in the protest. However, essential services like medicine shops, milk, vegetables shops among others, remained open for business.
Praveen Khandelwal, the secretary general of CAIT, also informed that over 1500 ‘dharnas’ will be held in different cities across India.
Fuel prices in the country have been rising continuously for over the past 10 days now. In Delhi, petrol costs ₹90.93 while diesel price is now at ₹81.32 and in Mumbai petrol is at ₹97.34 while diesel costs ₹88.44.
Their woe is mainly against the amendments to the GST bill. “Through these amendments, arbitrary powers have been given to the tax authorities, in particular, now any officer can suspend or cancel the GST registration number of any trader for any reason, according to his discretion, also the bank account and property of any trader can be confiscated that too without any show cause notice and no opportunity of hearing,” said the statement from CAIT.
The traders believe that such authority will only increase the harassment small shopkeepers face.
Transport unions and the protesting farmers in the national capital Delhi too have joined in for the Bharat Bandh.
The traders association are also raising their voices against the alleged flouting of norms in e-commerce by giants like Amazon. A recent Reuters report said that Amazon used several strategies to dodge India’s e-commerce regulations.The CAIT had earlier also called for a ban on Amazon. “It is a matter of shame on Amazon that it was least bothered and kept indulging itself into continuing its sinister designs to manipulate and control not only e- commerce but even the retail trade,” CAIT said in a statement.
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