LUCKNOW: Traders in Uttar Pradesh staged protests against the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on Friday, closing down markets, and, in Kanpur, stopping a train.
While some major wholesale markets in Allahabad, Kanpur and Varanasi remained totally closed, many organisations seemed to be divided on the issue.
Akhil Bharatiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal (ABUVM), a prominent traders’ body participated in the day-long protest by keeping the shutters down in Lucknow, on the other hand, Uttar Pradesh Vyapar Pratinidhi Mandal (UPVPM) chose to be away from protest pinning the hopes on state government that it would put up their grievances in the GST Council for a patient hearing and redressal.
While the ABUVM national president Sandeep Bansal claimed that garment traders were agitated over the haste with which Centre was rolling out the new tax regime without educating the traders adequately about it, UPVPM chief Banwari Lal Kanchhal said that traders kept away from the protest on the assurance of deputy CM Dinesh Sharma that they would be given a patient hearing at GST council.
The Adarsh Vyapas Mandal of Lucknow opted to stay out of the Bandh. Sanjay Gupta of the Adarsh Vyapar Mandal said that they supported the GST implementation and they would express their solidarity by cracking fireworks sharp at 12 midnight on June 30.
Similarly, in Varanasi, the streets wore a deserted look as the city observed bandh against the new tax reform. Wholesale markets also remained closed on account of the protest against the GST. A unique type of protest was staged at food market in holy city where the traders chained themselves and also registered their protest against cumbersome computer work associated with the GST.
Besides, over two dozen traders’ association in Varanasi division, four main mandis remained closed denting a routine business of ` 200 crore. The shops in the areas of Rani Kuan, Lakhi Chautra, Godowlia, Assi, Nagwa, Chowk, Andhrapul, Nandan Sahoo Lane, Kunj Gali, Satti Chauraha, Thatheri Bazaar, Madanpura, Badi Bazar, Chaukhamba, Madanpura, Maidagin, Sonarpura, Bhadaini, Golghar, Kachehri Bazar, Nichibagh, Kalbhairav and many other prominent shopping markets remained shut on Friday.
Kanpur witnessed almost complete closure of markets. The protesters not only kept their shutters down but also stopped the Lucknow bound trains. More than 50 Vyapar Mandals had extended support to the bandh call in Kanpur. General Ganj market, Kirana Market Nayaganj, Bullion market, Medicine market and retailers were closed and traders took out procession to lodge their protest against GST.
Nayaganj Kapra Bazar Committee members claimed that textile market of the city had taken a major hit owing to GST. The market had been closed for the last five days suffering losses to the tune of ` 200 crore.
In Allahabad, traders observed a near complete bandh. Major markets of Sangam city remained closed