Industrialists held in UP for protest against VAT hike

Written by State Bureau | Lucknow, Oct 6 | Updated: Oct 8 2008, 04:12am hrs
Industrialists from Uttar Pradesh got a taste of the Mayawati governments wrath on Monday, when the police arrested over sixty members of Indian Industries Association (IIA), who were demonstrating against the increased VAT rates and the imposition of entry tax on industrial inputs and items. It may be mentioned that the government had hiked VAT on industrial items and inputs from 4% to 12.5% recently.

Demanding parity in VAT rates, the industrialists had planned to take out a two-kilometer car rally from the middle of the town and end it at Patel Park, where the industrialists were to observe a sit-in. From there, they had planned to move to chief minister Mayawatis office on foot and hand over a memorandum of their demands to her.

We wanted to request the CM to withdraw the recent hike on VAT and also reduce the entry tax as it would obstruct the industrial growth of the state, said DS Verma, the executive director of IIA. UP is probably the first state in the country, where industrialists have been arrested, he said adding that industrial associations had so far, been putting forward their contentions over the increased VAT rates in a peaceful and civilised way. But since there was no response from the government even after so many days, we had to resort to public demonstration.

The industrialists had gathered in over 250 cars in the Hazratganj area, in the morning. On being denied permission by the district administration to take out the car rally, the industrialists started a rally. However, the administration refused permission for that too, as that would entail passing through the busy Hazratganj market area. The detainees, include IIA senior vice president Anil Gupta, general secretary Mukesh Tandon who were freed after 3 hours.