Pharmacies, hotels and restaurants remained shut across Andhra Pradesh today. While the pharmacists shut their business protesting the new drug policy and demanding that online sale of medicines be banned, hoteliers resented the high rate of taxation under the new GST regime. In Adoni in Kurnool district, pharmacists took out a protest rally as part of the nation-wide call. In Vijayawada, Guntur, Visakhapatnam and other major cities only a handful of medical shops were kept open to meet the emergencies.
In Srikakulam, hoteliers arranged free lunch for visitors to the town as part of their agitation programme. The hoteliers demanded that the proposed 18-28 per cent tax under GST be rolled back and the old rate of 5 per cent continued. In Guntur, bakeries and sweet meat shops too downed their shutters. The impact of the ‘bandh’ was felt more in temple town Tirupati, visited by thousands of pilgrims daily. Non-availability of accommodation in hotels caused problems for the pilgrims who came from far off places for a ‘darshan’ of Lord Venkateswara.
In Rajamahendravaram, hoteliers came on to the streets decrying the high rate of taxation saying the ultimate impact would fall on the customers. Hotels and restaurants would have to be wound up as business would fall because of the new tax, they lamented. The medium-sized hotels would be the worst hit, they said.