Imposition of 4 per cent value added tax the trigger

The textile traders downed their shutters in the city on Monday in protest against the imposition of 4 per cent value added tax (VAT) on textiles in the State. The textile traders observed bandh in response to a call given by the AP Federation of Textile Association. 

The cloth merchants, including Vastralatha, came on to roads raising slogans against the VAT. The merchants staged a sit-in protest in front of Vastralata in One Town. Stating that they were observing bandh for one-day, they vowed to continue their stir until the Government withdrew the GO, which imposes the VAT from July 11 (Monday).

The Cloth Merchants Association' VAT Action Committee member B. Venkata Narasimha Rao said that it was ridiculous that the Government had imposed the tax on textile merchants. The VAT on textiles was not justified and lawful.

The Government, instead, should levy the VAT at manufacturing point itself. Earlier, the Government used to levy additional excise duty on textiles on manufacturers. Now, the Central Government had done away with the additional excise duty. Subsequently, the State Government imposed the VAT.

The views of textile merchants were not taken into consideration, before issuing the GO, he said.

 The State Government's move adversely affects the textile industry. It affects close to 50,000 people who were 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 the VAT in view of the fact that most of them were less qualified, and cannot employ staff to carry out the paper work. Hence, the government should immediately withdraw the GO, he said.  

Barely 10 days ago, the Orissa Government had rolled back the VAT it had imposed on textiles, after protests from textile traders there. Action Committee members V. Ramachandra Rao, BJP Srinivas, Association president A. Prakasa Rao, general secretary Purushottam Das Kejriwal, former presidents T. Veeraiah Gupta and K. Lakshmi Narayana and others were present.

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