“It has created an anomalous situation for textile traders. We
will not be able to compete with traders of other States because of the VAT
burden. It makes the cloth cheaper in other States and is crippling business,
especially the whole sale trade”, said Prakash Ammanoulu, co convenor of the AP
The unprecedented nine-day long strike was called by the Federation to force the
State Government’s hands. “We made four representations to the State Government
and the Chief Minister but to no avail. We have been forced to take this step.
If the Government does not withdraw the VAT, we will be forced to quit this
business”, Prakash said.
The mood at the hunger strike camp at Indira Park in Hyderabad was very much
angry and belligerent against the Government. “The Chief Minister does not have
even the courtesy to respond to our demand”, one of the traders said. “On one
hand, he says he wants to help the poor by giving them rice at `1 per kg and on
the other his steps are leading lakhs to penury”, said Prakash Agarwal, blaming
the Government’s wrong policy for the potential unemployment of lakhs of people.
Daily Pioneer, India, dated