The commercial establishments in the city today observed a one-day ‘bandh’ after a call given by different organisations against the “anomalies and complexities” in the GST, to be rolled out from July 1. Commercial activities were suspended as part of the bandh and important market areas, like Rajbada, Siyaganj’s grocery market, Sanyogitaganj’s food grains market and Sarafa Bazar, among others wore a deserted look. According to market sources, the bandh hit business worth crores of rupees. However, retail shops remained open in many areas. Petrol pumps, hospitals, milk and medicine shops, schools and colleges were exempted from the bandh and they operated as usual.
The business organisations are up in arms against the GST in its present form and have sought reforms in it in the interest of people. The GST would badly affect the businesses, they claimed. They informed that Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Jayant Malaiya, who yesterday held a meeting with 50 business organisations, said that in order to protect the interest of the commercial organisations, there was a need to reduce the GST rates on cement, floor tiles, namkeen (salted snacks), ghee (clarified butter), branded food grains, branded cloths and medicines.
The minister gave them an assurance that he would place their suggestions in a form of proposal in the proposed GST Council meeting on June 18. During the meeting, Malaiya had appealed to them to cancel the bandh called by them today. Nonetheless, the traders went ahead with the bandh plan.