Madhya Pradesh - Cloth merchants, jewellers down
shutters against value added tax
Cloth market in Indore and elsewhere in the state along
with jewellers observed a bandh on Saturday to protest
the imposition of 5% value added tax (VAT) on clothes by
the Madhya Pradesh government. The jewelers were
protesting the budget proposals to bring unbranded
precious jewellery under the excise duty net and raise
customs duty on gold bars and coins.
Garmet retailers and wholesalers elsewhere in the state also joined the bandh.
The president of the Indore Retail Cloth Merchants' Association Dhanraj Wadhwani
said the bandh was total and all the shopkeepers downed their shutters in
protest against VAT imposition. "We will wait for another 2-3 days before
deciding future course of action." The bandh is also getting support from
readymade garment traders", he claimed.
Traders feel the government's decision will make garments dearer by 8-10% apart
from the VAT of 5% price factor will hit the trade hard.
Some of the areas affected by the bandh in Indore include Rajwada, MG Road and
others. Nearly 3,000 retail cloth shops downed shutters in the city.
Traders said the bandh on Saturday was symbolic and they would intensify the
stir in case the government fails to pay heed to their demand.
"The bandh was total affecting garment retail and wholesale business in the
city," Association spokesman Hansraj Jain said.
He said traders want immediate rollback of the VAT decision as it will adversely
affect the garment industry in the state.
The Government has proposed to levy 5 per cent VAT on garments, sugar and power
from April 1. The strike was supported by MP Cloth Business Association,
Readymade Garment Business Community and Indore Cloth Market Market Merchant
Members of various cloth associations took out a protest rally and staged a 'dharna'
at Mahaveer Chowk.