Budget termed a blow to trade and commerce sectors

The State Budget drew criticism from traders’ organisations for ‘ignoring the development concerns of the sector.’

In a statement issued here after a discussion on the Budget, leaders of the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samiti said the Budget dealt a blow to the trade and commerce sectors. The turnover tax newly imposed on garment sales and the compulsory enforcement of sales bill for every purchase above Rs.100 would harm traders.

V. Sunil Kumar, State secretary of the organisation, said the government had maintained silence on the long-pending demand of gold merchants to amend tax rules. “The Budget spoiled all efforts made by the government to promote trade through the recent Grand Kerala Shopping Festival,” he said. Leaders of the Kerala State Vyapari Vyavasayi Samiti said the Budget had announced no packages for rehabilitation of people evacuated for the proposed National Highway development plan. The Budget failed to protect local merchants affected by the entry of multinational companies in the retail market, they said.