The textile merchants downed their shutters, as part of two-day state-wide bandh, in protest against four per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on textiles, here on Tuesday.

The textile shops, both retail and wholesale, remained closed at Vastralata and Krishnaveni complexes. The merchants led by Textile Merchants Welfare Association, Vijayawada, on Besant Road and Governorpet closed their shops.

The shops owners pasted notices urging the people to oppose the VAT tooth and nail. They sought to highlight that the VAT was a burden on buyer or commoner.

Memo submitted

The traders, under the aegis of the Cloth Merchants Association, took out a motor cycle rally from Vastralatha in One Town here to Sub Collector's office against the VAT. They staged a dharna in front of the Sub Collectorate and raised slogans. Later, they submitted a memorandum urging the State Government to withdraw the VAT.

The traders said that the State Government issued GO 932 in July this year imposing the VAT.

The GO issued with a view to mopping up Rs. 800 crore was totally unrealistic. But all sections of people, already reeling under the impact of all-round price rise, would be burdened further because of the blanket VAT covering all types of clothes, they opined.

The State government's move adversely affects the textile industry. It affects close to 50,000 people who are either directly or indirectly dependent on textile business in the city.

More than 2,000 shop owners would have to bear the brunt due to VAT in view of the fact that most of them are less qualified and cannot employ staff to carry out paper work.

“Hence, the government should immediately withdraw the GO,” they said.

Textile Merchants Welfare Association President P. Bhima Rao, Secretary Ch. Nageswara Rao, joint secretary A. Vishnu Narayan,

Cloth Merchants Association President B.J.P. Srinivas general secretary B. Satyanarayana Andhra Pradesh Federation of Textile Associations member B. V. Narasimha Rao and others spoke.

More In: Vijayawada