Many market associations support ‘Bharat Vyapar bandh’ but keep shops open
New Delhi, Feb. 26 (PTI): Various markets in the national capital remained open on Friday during the ‘Bharat Vyapar Bandh’ called by traders’ union with many saying that despite supporting the cause, they did not want to suffer another day of losses.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Thursday had said all commercial markets across the country will remain closed on February 26 in view of its ‘Bharat Bandh’ call demanding a review of the provisions of the goods and services tax (GST) regime.
The CAIT said dharnas (protests) will be held nationwide at 1,500 places to urge the Centre, state governments and the GST Council to keep in abeyance the “draconian” provisions of GST.
Brijesh Goyal, president of Chamber of Trade and Industry (CTI), said most of the markets in Delhi opened but the associations extended their support to the ‘bandh’.
“Around 98 per cent markets, hotels, restaurants and industrial areas were open except in some parts of Chawri Bazaar and Karol Bagh. However, they have extended their support. We also held a protest at Kashmiri Gate around 12.30 pm,” Goyal said.
Although various market bodies said they support the cause for which the ‘bandh’ was called, they however, could not shut down their shops or outlets due to multiple reasons.
The bandh was not enforced at Connaught Place market.
“We are completely in support of the cause. However, it was not practically feasible to enforce the ‘bandh’ in the market this time. The traders are already reeling under the losses they incurred during the lockdown and they have heavy burden of rents. We completely support the cause and feel the demands are right,” said Atul Bhargava, president, New Delhi Traders Association.
Echoing his views, Sanjeev Mehra, president, Khan Market Association, said, the issue is very genuine but the traders are already suffering and we did not want to add another day of losses so we did not participate in the ‘bandh’.
Later in a statement, CTI said traders protested at different places in the national capital against the latest provisions of the GST on Friday and demanded their withdrawal from Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
“The present form of GST has increased the anxiety of traders and many new rules are coming in GST which are very dangerous from the traders’ point of view. We have also written a letter to Sitharaman, in which important points have been mentioned and also sought time to meet her,” Goyal said in the statement.
Goyal said provisions like arresting of traders and cancellation of their GST number should be withdrawn.
“We will continue to oppose these black laws,” he said, adding that if they are not withdrawn, then the protest will be further intensified.