Nearly 40,000 traders associations, representing eight crore Indian traders have expressed support to the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) call for a Bharat Bandh on February 26.
CAIT had called for a country-wide strike to protest rising fuel prices, the E-way Bill, and the goods and services tax (GST), News18 reported.
Besides traders, the All India Transport Welfare Association (AITWA), which is the apex body for organised road transportation companies, also announced support for the bandh and said it will host a ‘Chakka Jam’ (road blockade) on the day of the strike, the report added.
Notably, AITWA and CAIT are pushing for either complete removal of the new E-Way Bill or editing of certain rules from the same, besides asking for roll-back of heavy taxes on fuel amid rising prices. They have in particular asked for uniformity in diesel prices across India, it said.
CAIT also said that the GST Council did not respond to repeated missives from it which has “generated a feeling in the country that the council has its own agenda and doesn’t seem to be interested in seeking the cooperation of traders.”
“We highly regret such a dismal attitude and picture of the GST which has compelled the trade union leaders attending the conference to call for a Bharat Trade Bandh,” the statement read.
CAIT also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on GST and alleged violation by e-commerce giants. Its statement called for simplification of GST to the “extent that even a small trader operating his from remote area/s should also be able to comply without external help.”
So, what all is likely to be affected?
>> Since more than 40,000 traders’ associations are participating in the bandh on February 26, this means that all commercial markets across India will likely remain shut.
>> AITWA has asked transport companies to park their vehicles from 6 am to 8 pm on the bandh day as a “symbolic protest”, which is likely to hit private transportation, as per a Hindustan Times report.
>> Goods booking and movement is likely to be affected due to protest against E-Way Bill.
>> Dharnas (sit-in protests) have been planned at 1,500 locations across the country, which could affect traffic flow.
>> Among unions not participating include the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) and Bhaichara All India Truck Operator Welfare Association (BAITOWA).