HYDERABAD: Nearly one lakh wholesale, semi-retail and retail textile traders in the state under the banner of the Andhra Pradesh Federation of Textile Associations (APFTA) have decided to observe total textile trade bandh in the state from January 23 to 31. The trade bandh call has been given to protest against the state government’s reluctance to withdraw the five percent Value Added Tax (VAT) imposed on textiles. In their general body meeting, the members have decided to intensify the agitation as there is no response from the government on withdrawal of VAT on textiles.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, convener of the Twin Cities JAC of APFTA, Ammanabolu Prakash, APFTA treasurer Badri Eashwarappa, Secunderabad Cutpiece Cloth Merchants Association general secretary Santosh Chokani and Hyderabad Cloth Merchants Association, president Dharminder Goel and others said that the imposition of five percent VAT has adversely affected the traders in the state.
The imposition of VAT has hit the traders hard as textile shop owners from the border districts were moving to neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh because of additional burden of VAT and are procuring material from outside the state.
They even appealed to the chief minister to keep the government order in abeyance till the VAT and Goods and Service Tax (GST) is implemented across the country.
The members informed that except Andhra Pradesh no state in the country is levying VAT on textiles. The representatives of APFTA met the chief minister on few occasions on the issue, but not received any positive response forcing them to go ahead with textile bandh across the state.
The members said that they also have submitted memoranda to ministers, MPs and MLAs on the matter.
If there is no response from the state government even after January 31, a “Chalo Hyderabad” programme with three lakh traders from across the state would be taken out next month to press for their demand.
All the district associations will observe relay hunger strikes in their respective regions during the bandh days and submit memoranda to local ministers, MPs, MLAs, MLCs and district collectors. The Twin Cities Cloth Merchants Associations will organise relay hunger strikes at Indira Park, the traders said.