Bharat Bandh today: All commercial markets across the country will remain closed across the country today (26 February) in view of the Bharat Bandh called by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in protest against rising fuel prices, the new e-way bill and the goods and services tax (GST). In response to the CAIT’s call for Bharat bandh, around 40,000 trade associations have decided to extend their support.
The All India Transport Welfare Association (AITWA) - the apex body of the organised road transportation companies – will also support today's bandh and hold a chakka jam. All state level-transport associations including Bombay Goods Transport Association, SIMTA, KGTA, Baroda Goods Transport Association, Vapi Transport Association, HGTA, CGTA, Car Carrier Association, Association of Transporters Poona, and many others have confirmed their support to AITWA in this one-day non-operation of transport.
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Services expected to be affected:Commercial markets across the country will remain closed as over 40,000 traders' associations are taking part in the Bharat Bandh.Road transport services across the country could be affected as the transport companies to park their vehicles between 6 am and 8 pm.Booking, as well as the movement of bill-oriented goods, will be affected.No traders will log in to the GST portal in order to register their protest.Associations of chartered accountants and tax advocates have backed the strike.As per CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal, women entrepreneurs, small industries, hawkers, among others, will join tomorrow's bandh.
Services that will not be affected:Essential services, medical shops, milk, vegetable shops, etc won't be affected by the Bharat Bandh.Bank services are also expected to remain unaffected.
Why Bharat Bandh today?
E way bill
The CAIT as well as AITWA seek scrapping of the new e-way bill or eliminating certain rules from it. The e-way bill system has been introduced nation-wide for inter-state movement of goods with effect from 1st April 2018.
What is E way bill?
It is a rule which mandates impractical compliance from transporters. The consignor or sender of goods have to fill their goods detail on the online portal, in part A and the transporter have to update the vehicle no in part B. The transporter has to cover the total journey @ 200 km/day, from consignor place to consignee place as per pin code calculated at the shortest distance. This is practically not possible due to many factors such as Sunday/holiday, accident, part load consolidation, hub & spoke, congestion en-route or at the unloading place, driver personal issue and many others. The goods are sometimes stored prior to delivery as per client convenience. Any error or expiry of e way bill due to any mistake whatsoever is heavily and obnoxiously penalised to 200 per cent of the tax value, or 100 per cent of the invoice value under Section 129 of CGST Act, 2017 even when there is no tax loss to Government. Further, this tax on sale/purchase is to be paid by the seller/buyer to Government and have nothing to do with the transporter.
Rising fuel prices
Apart from Eway Bill, AITWA has also represented the skyrocketing diesel prices, which should be reduced and mechanisms need to be discussed and created with the Transport Industry for future regulation. Diesel prices should be equalized across the length and breadth of the nation About All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA).
CAIT Secretary-General Praveen Khandelwal observed that voluntary compliance is the key to a successful GST regime, as it will encourage more people to join the indirect tax system, increase the tax base and boost revenue. almost 950 amendments have been made so far to GST rules in the past four years, he said, adding that the issues related to glitches in the GST portal and the continuous increase in compliance burden are the major lacunae in the tax regime.
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