GST Hike Fallout: Textile markets to remain shut in Srinagar today

A view of shut shops in Srinagar's Lal Chowk. [Representational Image]
A view of shut shops in Srinagar's Lal Chowk. [Representational Image]File: Aman Farooq

Srinagar: To protest against the government’s decision to hike Goods and Services Tax (GST) on textile fabrics, the Srinagar-based textile markets have decided to keep their shops shut on Thursday.

The textile traders across the country have opposed the central government's decision to hike the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on fabrics from 5 to 12 percent.

Sarai Bala Traders Welfare Federation and the MR Gunj Traders Welfare Federation, in a joint statement, have called for a shutdown of textile shops on Thursday.

They have stated that tens of thousands of people associated with the sector were already suffering in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns. The new tax hike is a “deadly blow” to textile traders,

The two trade bodies said the day-long strike of textile shops in Srinagar is taking place the same day the textile industry and its allied industries in Gujarat's Surat have called for a complete shutdown on Thursday.

“Government is acting thoughtlessly and putting stress on millions of people who earn their livelihood from the textile industry in the country. We are still reeling under and suffering hugely from the effects of the pandemic that has incurred huge losses in the past two years,” President Sarai Bala Traders Welfare Federation Hilal Ahmed khan said. "It’s unfortunate that the central government is putting more stress on the industry which is still recovering from lost sales and higher input costs for the past two years.”

MR Gunj traders body president Khursheed Ahmad said the government needed to understand the support the sector is providing to millions of households in India, and any strain on the industry would mean causing stress to these families.

“The government must act responsibly and impose a 5 percent uniform GST on the sector,” he said.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has also urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to defer the implementation of the GST rate hike on textiles and footwear. The proposal is to increase the rate of tax from 5 percent to 12 percent on textiles and footwear.

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