HYDERABAD: The call for Bharat Bandh had a relatively muted response in Telangana on Friday, even though several hundreds of trade associations and transport associations were part of the same.
The effect of the same was seen in old city pockets of Hyderabad, with several Kirana merchants, general traders, steel merchant associations carrying out a rally to the Collector's office with a memorandum of demands. They have decided to lower their shutters throughout the day
"Our demand is simple, the GST process has to be simplified. There are several new clauses and rules which have become harassment both financially and to just process it," said Mahesh Kumar Gupta, General Secretary of Hyderabad Kirana merchant association.
Their primary grievance is the way the e-way billing process has penalty as the norm. "They are expecting us to cover a distance of 100km in a day. How is this even possible? There can be accidents, vehicle breakdowns. Any small delay is fetching high penalty and we are already steeped in losses post pandemic," added Gupta.
A similar sentiment was shared by G Durga Prada, General Secretary of Telangana Lorry Owners Association who noted that nearly 1 lakh transport vehicles will keep off roads for the day. "Diesel rate is Rs35 but we may nearly three times the rate, over and above this the harassment of e-way billing. This is unacceptable and must be done away with," he said.
He noted that if the Central Government did not bring any relaxations then likely by March 14th there would be an indefinite strike to lodge their grievances.