Two-day bandh from today

CHENNAI MARCH 30. Traders are divided over the proposed two-day bandh from tomorrow against the introduction of the value-added tax system in the State. While the Tamilnadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peravai announced that all its members would participate in the bandh to show their protest the introduction of the new tax system, a few traders associations had dissociated themselves from the closure move.

The president, T. Vellaiyan, said it was unfortunate that the State was going ahead with the new system when the Centre itself was thinking of postponing its introduction. Again many states had expressed their opposition and decided not to implement the system. The Finance Minister, C. Ponnaiyan, himself had said the State would be losing about Rs. 2,400 crores per annum if the VAT was implemented. If that was the case where was the need for switching over to the new system from April 1. Meanwhile, the Tamilnadu Varthga Kazhagam president, J. J. L. Gnanraj, said there was no need for closure as Mr. Ponnaiyan had assured that the system would be introduced only if all states implemented it.

The Federation of Thamizhaga All Chambers of Commerce and Trade Associations general secretary, K. Raghavan, said it was prudent for traders to have negotiations with the Government to present their opposition to the new system than to observe bandh, which he said, would serve no purpose.

The Tamil Nadu Rice Mill Owners and Paddy-Rice Dealers Associations president, D. Thulasingam, said the association members would not participate in the bandh. Hotels would remain open on these two days, according to the Tamil Nadu Hotel Owners Association.

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