Uttar Pradesh traders on Friday staged protests against the Goods and Services Tax’s implementation, shuttering wholesale markets. The traders also stopped a train in Kanpur.
Kanpur—the business hub of the state—was one of the main centres of the protest, with office bearers of trade organisations participating in the protests. Traders squatted on rail tracks and stopped the Kanpur-Pratapgarh passenger train in a protest against the new tax regime.
Reports of protests also came in from Varanasi, Allahabad, Jhansi, Faizabad, Shahjahanpur and Ghaziabad. “We are not against the GST. But we are certainly not happy with the way GST is being implemented. The officials and traders are not ready. Apart from this, the portal is not ready,” Rajiv Anand, chairman of UP Yuva Vyapar Mandal told PTI.
He also said it is not feasible for small traders to engage the services of a chartered accountant. “Today a large number of shops ranging from groceries and bullion to wholesale and clothes remained closed. The transformation to GST should have been gradual and not a sudden one,” Anand said.
Akhil Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal leader Gyanendra Misra protested at the Lucknow railway crossing in Kanpur at around 9.30 AM and stopped the local train. They were later removed by GRP (Government railway Police) personnel. Traders claimed the bandh caused losses of over Rs 2,000 crore. Ashok Kumar, a garment shop owner said, they are yet to get a clear view of the GST.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed. Let’s hope that whatever will happen, will turn out to be good.” Similar views were also echoed by Deep Jaiswal, a medicine seller, who said that the roll out of GST will have minimum impact on the consumers.
Attempting to allay fears of the public, tax lawyer Ashish Tripathi said, “GST will have a positive impact on the public, as it will remove the prevailing mechanism of levying tax over tax, giving some relief to the consumers.”