GST rollout, launch in India: Shops in main cities like Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, and Jabalpur downed their shutters while commercial activities remained suspended in small towns as well. The bandh was called by various organisations of traders. In the state capital, important commercial markets like MP Nagar, New Market, Chowk, Bairagarh, BHEL township etc. largely remained closed. Commercial establishments in major cities in Madhya Pradesh remained closed today as part of a bandh called to protest “anomalies and complexities” in the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will be rolled out in a special function in Delhi at midnight tonight.
“We are not against the GST but are protesting its anomalies and complexities. The Centre is going to impose this new tax regime without any prior preparation. The government has not taken traders into confidence,” Bhopal Chamber of Commerce and Industries general secretary Vishnu Bansal told PTI. He said different tax slabs under GST will affect rates of almost 1,500 items covered under grocery business. Traders will also have to face practical problems due to varying tax slabs, he added. Bansal said a total of 72 traders’ organisations extended their support to today’s bandh.
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According to Bansal, business in almost all major cities and towns was affected due to the bandh. Commercial activities were also hit in Indore, the commercial capital of the state, where main market areas like Rajbada wore a deserted look. Grocery market in Siyaganj, food grains market in Sanyogitaganj and Sarafa Bazar also remained closed. President of Indore’s Ahilya Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Ramesh Khandelwal said the new tax regime would entirely disturb the current set up of traders.
He said that most of the essential commodities fall under the higher tax slab in the GST. “The chamber, along with other traders’ organisations, will launch a hunger strike as well as a ‘dharna’ from July 2 in support of the demand to remove various anomalies in the GST,” he added.