The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has called for a bandh on 26th February in protest of rising petrol prices, changes in GST rules, and eway billing. Many farmers’ associations have expressed support for this Bharat Bandh.
CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal announced that 40,000 communities representing 8 crore people across the country would participate in the bandh. He said the lorry owners’ association of nearly one crore and the All India Transport Welfare Association were also supporting the bandh.
The two key business associations, however, disagreed with these comments. The Federation of All India Chambers of Commerce and the Indian Employees’ Chamber of Commerce has made it clear that they will not participate in the bandh. There are hundreds of trade unions under these two associations.
‘GST has deviated from the initially revealed targets. Input tax credit (ITC) has become difficult for traders to access due to the inclusion of many demonic provisions. Not giving it an extra burden. Several business associations across the country sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Modi on February 22 through collectors of 200 districts on the issue.
If it is ignored we will be reminded once again from the 500 districts. If the decision still does not change, we will start the operation. We need to rewrite the GST rules, “said VK Bansal, leader of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce.
Meanwhile, the AP Lawyer Owners Association has expressed solidarity with the bandh call issued by CAIT. It warned it would go on an indefinite strike soon if oil prices were not reduced. The association’s state general secretary YV Ishwara Rao on Thursday called on lorry owners across the state not to take out lorries. Emergency services are exempt. The US Kisan Morcha, which has declared support for the bandh, has called on all farmers to participate and make it a success. Dr. Darshan Paul, leader of the farmers’ association, said farmers would support the business community, which is facing severe difficulties with the rise in GST and oil prices. The traders’ association said all commercial markets would be closed as part of the bandh.