Against the implementation of good and service tax by the Centre, the textile traders’ agitation in Gujarat has lead to complete shutdown of trading centres as a mark of protest. The indefinite strike is against 5% GST levied on textiles. The traders continued with their protest even after police baton-charged protesting members of their association in Surat on Monday.
After the GST roll-out, several cloth markets in the state have since remained closed as most traders have not registered for the new tax system and do not have the GST number. They are hoping that the central government will intervene to resolve the situation. The Maskati market in Ahmedabad, a major textile centre in the PM Modi’s hometown remained empty as around 25,000-30,000 traders observed a shutdown, protesting “police high-handedness” with agitating traders in Surat. They said the shops will remain shut indefinitely until the time their demands on GST were not met by the government.
Traders in Surat too observed the bandh. “This city gained prominence due to the hard work of businessmen like us. Those indulging in politics have not done much for the city. The police action is unacceptable and was entirely unprovoked. We stand united against the police action and will keep our shops shut indefinitely,” said Ganpat Jain, a member of GST Sangharsh Samiti, which called the shutdown.
Thousands of protestors have taken to the street in various places including Surat. Here is a video of the protesting textile traders in Gujarat: