They demand immediate withdrawal of VAT on textiles

Textile traders on Sunday intensified the stir against imposition on Value Added Tax on textiles and took out a huge protest rally here on Sunday.

Traders across the State have closed their shops for the last 10 days.

An estimated 10,000 traders took part in the protest rally.

The traders were demanding that the State government should immediately scrap VAT imposed on textiles. The government had imposed a 5 per cent tax on the textiles drawing the ire of the traders.

The procession started with offering of floral tributes at the statue of Dr. B.R Ambedkar and the traders offered tributes at the statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Potti Sriramulu and Indira Gandhi en route as they walked through the main roads.

Textiles Association president Busireddy Malleswara Reddy said the government had gone back on its promise of lifting the VAT and said that it spoke of its ‘callous’ attitude.

He said the imposition of VAT would put small traders in a quandary as the likely entry of Foreign Direct Investment in retail sector would drive out the small traders out of the business.

Mr. Reddy appealed to the government to reconsider the decision and follow the suit of other State governments.

He said a protest rally would be organised at Chirala in Prakasam district.

Andhra Pradesh Textiles Federation decided to intensify their protest against VAT. “The relay hunger strike camps all over the State will continue till the government withdraws VAT on textiles.

Textiles which was included in the Sensitive Commodities Act list should be removed,” said vice president of the association B Venkata Narasimha Rao.

He said “the government should realise that thousands of petty businessmen are part of textiles business and they can not bear the imposition of the VAT”.

The APTF members appealed to the shopping malls on Besant Road, Eluru Road and Bandar Road to join the State wide protest.

“Situation may take violent turn if shopping malls in Vijayawada city remain open against the decision of APTF members,” warned Vastralatha president CH. Raghuram of Vijayawada.

He launched the relay-hunger-strike at Vastralatha on the day nine and K Basavaraju, M Subba Rao and other city-based businessmen participated in the strike.

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