The textile traders downed their shutters on the second day on Wednesday in protest against four per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) imposed by the State government on textiles.

The shop owners took out a rally in Governorpet and Besant Road under the aegis of Textile Merchants Welfare Association, Vijayawada, protesting the apathy of the government. They alleged that the government had no concern for the common man. Despite repeated requests and protests, the government remained silent only to fill its coffers, they said.

Association president P. Bhima Rao said, “We have decided not to collect the VAT from customers. Neither, we will pay the VAT to the government.”

The textile merchants at Vastralatha and Krishnaveni complexes also closed their shops as part of the State-wide agitation. They pointed out that the VAT 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, they said.

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