Wholesale cloth market shuts down in protest against GST

Wholesale cloth market shuts down in protest against GST

Wholesale cloth market shuts down in protest against GST

The normally crowded roads of the pete and Gandhinagar areas wore a deserted look on Friday with textile merchants shutting their shops demanding exemption from the Goods and Services Tax regime.

Over 3,500 wholesalers and 10,000 retailers shut their shops in Chickpet, Avenue Road, BVK Iyengar Road, Jumma Masjid Road and surrounding areas in the city. 

“The whole textile industry across the city, state and the country was closed on Friday. There was no business,” said Sambhav Kumar Sanghvi, president, Cloth Merchants Association. He admitted that this would have an impact on the industry, but said there was no other way to give voice the sufferings of the traders, he said.

“So far, we were not part of the any tax slab. All we would pay was entry tax. Now, we have been told to get a GST number and if our turnover is less than Rs 20 lakh, then we are considered unregistered traders. This is absurd. I have been doing legal business all these years,” said Pawan G, a shopkeeper in Chickpet.

Most of the silk dealers were closed on Friday near Jumma Masjid.

“We agree that because of the protest, the silk market will take a beating and retailers will suffer. I have so far only worked on credit. How can I file returns four times a month? If I have to file returns, then how will I travel to buy the silk yarn and supply it to my dealers? I do not earn so much to hire more men,” said M Khaleel, a silk merchant.

While dealers knew of the strike beforehand, customers were left in the lurch.  Many retail outlets were trying to grab the opportunity by offering even 60% discount on silk sarees.

But customers who regularly visit the wholesalers for purchases at discounted rates, were not impressed. “Pure silk material is available only from the yarns, the cut pieces sold in retail stores are generally not genuine. I do not want to take the risk and so will return later,” said Tabassum B, a
customer at Jumma Masjid Road.
DH News Service

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