Mumbai, June 29: Friday is the big day that the Narendra Modi government has been working feverishly and tirelessly towards- the roll out of the historical Goods and Tax Reform (GST). However, it seems now, that the launch of the unifying tax reform is not going to be all that smooth after all. Even as the government prepares to bring GST into effect from midnight of July 1, traders are gearing up to greet it with protests and strikes across the country.
According to a report by Business Standard, the Bharatiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal (BUVM) has called for a daylong Bharat Bandh or a countrywide suspension of operations, to protest the implementation of GST. The Mandal represents some 17000 big and medium traders’ associations and they all will be agitating against some provisions of the GST. There will be a series of protests that will be organized all throughout July and August, by the traders, small and medium entrepreneurs, and farmers, said the BS report.
Bharatiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal Secretary General Vijay Prakash told the paper, “We have several issues with the GST system and rates. The tax on some of the items will be fatal for SMEs.” In the event of getting no response to the strikes from the government, Prakash said that the association’s core members will meet again on July 6 and decide the course of action. BUYM is not the only one opposing GST. The opposition Indian National Congress (INC) has decided to boycott GST rollout in the Parliament on Friday midnight.
Congress’s decision was announced by Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad, who said that the country was “ill-prepared” for the implementation and that the Parliament central hall shouldn’t be used for a function of this kind. In response, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has appealed to the Opposition parties to reconsider the boycott, saying that since they have also been a part of the decision-making process, they should accept the tax bill’s implementation, said a report by IANS.