Updated on: Thursday, December 23, 2021, 05:10 PM IST

Bhopal: 7% GST hike on garments to breed illegal businesses, claim traders

Unions to stage indefinite sit-in post all-union meeting on Friday
File Photo |

File Photo |


Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The cloth traders in the city have claimed that the hike in GST from 5% to 12% will lead to an increase in illegal business of wholesale and retail clothes.

The president of Bairagarh Wholesale Cloth Traders’ union, Kanhaiyalal Israni, said, “We have been opposing the move to include retail cloth in the GST bracket since the beginning. The government began with imposing 1% GST which then increased to 5%. And now, they want to bring it under 12% taxnet. We have been opposing since the beginning but now it is high time we make our voices heard.”

The vice president of Madhya Pradesh Cloth Traders’ Association, Vasudev Wadhwani, said, “The move will only harm the common man in a direct manner. There is no way a lower-middle class household can afford such heavy tax on something as fundamental as clothes. By the time it reaches last person in the row, the tax would be up to 20%. Market and household don’t run in this manner. So the traders and the customers would be forced to go down the illegal road.”

The former general secretary of the cloth traders’ association, Rajendra Garg, said, “It has been over four years to the launch of GST on clothes. We were vocal about it then and we are vocal about it now. A 12% tax on retail clothes is beyond affordable for economic class. Illegal businesses will flourish under the blanket of increased GST. Traders want their cut and customers want clothes at most reasonable rates possible.”

The traders have been staging protests across the nation against the government’ decision to increase the GST on retail clothes. The traders in Bhopal have been blacking out their shops and the locality for 20 minutes every evening between 7 pm and 7.20 pm and they beat utensils all this while to make themselves heard.

They even blow conch shells (Shankhs) as the Prime Minister had asked the people to do during the corona-induced lockdown. There are posters and banners across the city, including at the prime spots like New Market, Bitthan Market, 10 no Market, MP Nagar and Old City area, urging people to lend them support in their movement.

The unions will hold a virtual meeting on Friday to formulate a work plan as of where to take the movement and in what manner. The associations and unions across Madhya Pradesh and across the nation are planning to stage an indefinite sit-in opposing the government’s move to increase GST to 12% which will be applicable from January 1, said the traders while talking to Free Press.

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Published on: Thursday, December 23, 2021, 05:10 PM IST