Vow to intensify stir against VAT
Cloth merchants and retailers observed bandh till Thursday afternoon and took out a two-wheeler rally demanding that VAT on clothes and textiles be withdrawn.
Over 1,000 traders took out a motorcycle and scooter rally from Vastralatha through the main streets of the One Town and Two Town areas. En route, they went to offices of Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, MLAs — Vellampalli Srinivas and Malladi Vishnu — and submitted a memorandum.
All clothing, ready-made shops, and even shopping malls that were selling clothes and textiles remained closed to express their solidarity.
Addressing the rallies Vijayawada Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Vellampalli Ramachandra Rao said that VAT was a huge burden on traders and retailers. It also had a cascading effect on the end customers.
He said no other State in the country was collecting even 1 per cent VAT on textiles and clothes. Asking the Central government to intervene, Mr. Rao demanded that a uniform tax be collected on textiles and clothes all over the country.
Mr. Rao said the agitation would be intensified if the State government did not heed to their demand. A ‘chalo Hyderabad’ programme with two lakh cloth merchants and traders was being planned in association with the Andhra Pradesh Textile Federation.
Federation vice-president Bachchu Venkata Narasimha Rao appealed to all political parties to support the genuine demand of the textile merchants. He said both the poor and rich were affected by this burden alike.
Vastralatha association president Chintalapudi Raguram said Commercial Tax Officers were seizing stocks and harassing the cloth merchants. He wondered why the State government was so indifferent to the genuine demands of the textile merchants.