//Textile traders hold rally to protest GST

Textile traders hold rally to protest GST

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Gujarat | Ahmedabad:

Cloth merchants and others associated with the textile industry from various cloth markets of the city organized a mega rally on Saturday to protest against the 5% GST imposed on cloth. Some 10,000 traders walked from the New Cloth Market to Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries on the Ashram Road. Further ahead, 15 representatives of various cloth markets submitted a memorandum to the chief commissioner of customs, excise and service tax, Ajay Jain, and GST convener of Gujarat, P D Vaghela.

“We have sought complete exemption from the GST till January 2019,“ said Gaurang Bhagat, president, Maskati Cloth Merchants Association.“The officials have assured us that they will represent our issues to the Union government.“ Textile traders from Ahmedabad have been on a weeklong strike. “After demonetization, the market was affected by a slowdown. When it started recovering, the government imposed the GST,“ said Rajesh Agrawal, secretary, New Cloth Market. He said if businesses remain shut, foreign players will manage to penetrate and capture the market.

Traders said that if the GST is imposed on cloth, their working capital will significantly go up as it is a labour-driven industry. “Labourers are involved in many aspects including transport, processing, folding and packaging,“ said Bhanwarlal Jain, a trader in the New Cloth Market. “Processing houses are dependent on labour. But jobs are being lost because of the slowdown. If the textile industry is not supported, there will be a dip in employment.“

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