New Delhi: All commercial markets across the country will remain closed across the country on Friday (February 26, 2021) in view of the Bharat Bandh called by the Indian traders' bodies in protest against GST, fuel price hike, E-Way Bill. The Indian traders' body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has announced that all commercial markets across the country will remain closed on February 26.
In a statement, the CAIT said that over 8 crore traders belonging to more than 40,000 trade associations across the country will observe the `Bharat Vyapar Bandh` to protest against some of the "draconian, arbitrary and critical" amendments made recently in GST rules.
Traders across the country are demanding a review of the provisions of the goods and services tax (GST) regime. According to reports, over 40,000 traders' associations across the country will support the Bandh. All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA) will also support CAIT's Bharat Bandh call and hold a 'Chakka Jam' on Friday.
Nearly 40, 000 trade associations, which represent eight crore traders of the country, have extended support to the Bharat Bandh call given by the CAIT. The CAIT said in a release that the traders will stage dharnas (protests) at as many as 1,500 places across the nation on February 26, demanding the Centre, state governments and the GST Council to keep in abeyance the "draconian" provisions of GST.
What are the key demands?
The CAIT also called for a review of the GST system and its tax slabs to simplify and rationalise it for easier compliance by traders. CAIT Secretary-General Praveen Khandelwal said it is also talking to the government on this issue, adding that All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA) will also support CAIT's Bharat Bandh call and hold a 'Chakka Jam' on February 26.
"All commercial markets across the country will remain closed and protest dharnas will be organised in different cities of all states," Khandelwal said adding that along with CAIT, over 40,000 traders' associations across the country will support the Bandh.
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 tax base and boost revenue.
Who all are supporting today's Bharat Vyapar Bandh
According to reports, over 40,000 traders' associations across the country will support the Bandh. All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA) will also support CAIT's Bharat Bandh call and hold a 'Chakka Jam' on February 26.
The AITWA has also urged the government to abolish E-Way Bill and track vehicles by using Fast-Tag connectivity to E-Invoice and to scrap the penalty on transporters for any time-based compliance target of transit and make diesel prices uniform across the country.
Why mixed response to Bharat Bandh is expected?
However, a mixed response is expected to the 'Bharat Vyapar Bandh' as several traders' bodies are split over joining the nationwide shutdown call to protest against the issues related to GST and e-commerce. However, representatives from other traders' bodies like the Federation of All India Vyapar Mandal and the Bharatiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal said that they have not extended support to the Bandh, as per PTI.
Bharatiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal Delhi General Secretary Rakesh Yadav said it has not extended support to the Bandh and has submitted a memorandum on the GST-related issues to the government.
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.