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Ahmedabad traders join Surat merchants opposing 5% GST
Jul '17
Representatives of three major Ahmedabad textile markets—the Maskati Cloth Market Association, New Cloth Market and Panchkuva Cloth Market—have joined their Surat counterparts in demanding roll back of 5 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) on fabric. The traders will shut their shops and establishments for an indefinite period from July 10.

“Five per cent GST on cloth is not acceptable to anyone who is in the textile business. To raise our voice against this tax, all the textile markets in the city will go on indefinite strike from tomorrow, as traders will refrain from any kind of transaction,” a joint statement released by the three associations on July 9 said.

Meanwhile, Union ministers Mansukh Mandaviya and Parshottam Rupala have met textile traders in Surat, who are on an indefinite strike for more than a week now. The ministers urged traders to engage in talks with the Central government to seek early resolution of their issues rather than staging protests.

“The intention behind rolling out GST was to give a boost to trade and business, not to harass people. I agree that traders are agitating because they are facing some problems due to this new tax structure. But, the issue can be resolved with dialogue with the government,” Rupala told reporters.

Textile shops in Surat have remained closed since June 15, except for one day on June 24, which has affected the business. There are more than 70,000 textile traders in the man-made textile hub, who are demanding that GST be levied only on yarn, and not on fabric. Their contention is that the government has increased duty on yarn from 12.5 per cent to 18 per cent, so there is no need to apply GST on the fabric.

Traders argue that all segments of the textile industry were tax-free for the past 60 years, and there was no duty on yarn. Under the GST structure, there would be problems in implementing the credit system, and these can be avoided by one-time tax collection on yarn.

Traders are also asking more time for implementation of the GST. (RKS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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