To protest against the Goods and Services Tax (GST) going to be levied on fabrics, the textile industry in Telangana downed its shutters on Tuesday, and called for a 72-hour bandh, which will go on till Thursday.
According to reports, nearly 40,000 cloth stores and shops across Telangana were shut on Tuesday, in support of the bandh.
This came after the GST council took a decision to levy 5% GST on the sector, which is free of sales and value-added taxes at present.
On Tuesday, places like General Bazaar and Tobacco Bazaar in Secunderabad, and Pattergatti in the Old City area witnessed a total bandh, as several textile shops remained shut.
It was reported that cloth merchants from various districts of the state, have also organised rallies.
‚ÄúThe cloth merchants from other places in the city have also observed the bandh. We are organising a rally against GST in the city on June 30. We will decide our next action after a meeting with office-bearers,‚ÄĚ TS Federation of Textile Association president Ammanabolu Prakash told Deccan Chronicle.
He also alleged that, the GST Council announced that it would not tax textiles till its 15th meeting, and included textiles in GST, to benefit top manufacturers.
According to The Hindu, the Association said that 5% GST would complicate matters for those in the trade, and there will be the need for more working capital.
‚ÄúThis is an unfortunate move by the NDA government. Ours is a completely credit-oriented trade. It takes six months to recover costs. So, filing taxes every month will not be possible. About 20% of our products get returned due to change in fashion or due to a variety of reasons. An item may get sold, maybe, over a year later. All these factors make compliance with GST difficult for the sector,‚ÄĚ A Prakash, president of TSFTA, told The New Indian Express.
The TNIE report also adds that the price of textiles could go up by 8-10% for customers.
Apart from Hyderabad, Nalgonda, Surayapet and Yadadri-Bhongir districts also witnessed the bandh.
In all the three districts, several stores remained closed on Tuesday, as rallies were held by the Cloth Merchants Association in their respective towns.
Cloth Merchants Association United Nalgonda district president Ganduri Shanker told Telangana Today that GST would have an adverse impact on the weavers and cloth merchants.
According to him, the worst affected would be the small and medium cloth merchants, who are already facing losses due to the competition in the market.
If GST is imposed, the small and medium cloth merchants would be forced to close their business, he said.