Bharat Bandh on February 26: Going ahead with their protest against the Goods and Services Tax (GST), fuel price hike, E-Way Bill, traders across the country will go a day-long strike on Friday and all commercial markets will remain closed. The Bharat Bandh has been called and traders across the country are demanding a review of the provisions of the goods and services tax (GST) regime.
In a statement, the Indian traders' body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) the umbrella body which has called for the Bharat Bandh said that over 8 crore traders belonging to more than 40,000 trade associations across the country will observe the `Bharat Vyapar Bandh` to protest against some of the "draconian, arbitrary and critical" amendments made recently in GST rules. The CAIT has announced that all commercial markets across the country will remain closed on February 26.
It will also urge the government to rectify glitches in e-commerce for preventing violation of law by foreign e-commerce companies. The All India Transport Welfare Association (AITWA) an apex body of 1 crore transporters have already supported the strike and has also announced `Chakka Jam` of the transport sector on Friday all over India.
CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that not only traders but even small industries, hawkers, and women entrepreneurs among others will also join the bandh. Further, associations of chartered accountants and tax advocates have supported the strike and have informed their clients not to visit their offices on Friday.
Khandelwal further said that on Friday as a mark of protest, `dharna` will be held in more than 1,500 towns and cities across states and no traders will log in to the GST portal to register their protest.
According to the CAIT, the traders will stage dharnas (protests) at as many as 1,500 places across the nation on February 26, demanding the Centre, state governments and the GST Council to keep in abeyance the "draconian" provisions of GST.
The CAIT also called for a review of the GST system and its tax slabs to simplify and rationalise it for easier compliance by traders. CAIT Secretary-General Praveen Khandelwal said it is also talking to the government on this issue, adding that All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA) will also support CAIT's Bharat Bandh call and hold a 'Chakka Jam' on February 26.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, he said, "All commercial markets across the country will remain closed and protest dharnas will be organised in different cities of all states," adding that along with CAIT, over 40,000 traders' associations across the country will support the Bandh.
Khandelwal observed that voluntary compliance is the key to a successful GST regime, as it will encourage more people to join the indirect tax system, increase the tax base and boost revenue. According to reports, over 40,000 traders' associations across the country will support the Bandh. All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA) will also support CAIT's Bharat Bandh call and hold a 'Chakka Jam' on February 26.
Nearly 40, 000 trade associations, who represent eight crore traders of the country, has extended support to the Bharat Bandh call given by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on February 26. The AITWA has also urged the government to abolish E-Way Bill and track vehicles by using Fast-Tag connectivity to E-Invoice and to scrap the penalty on transporters for any time-based compliance target of transit and make diesel prices uniform across the country.
Almost 950 amendments have been made so far to GST rules in the past four years, he said, adding that the issues related to glitches in the GST portal and the continuous increase in compliance burden are the major lacunae in the tax regime.