Nation-wide strike against Vat hits trade

New Delhi, March 30 | Updated: Mar 31 2005, 05:30am hrs
The nationwide three-day traders strike against value added tax (Vat) being implemented by 21 states from April 1 evoked a mixed response on Wednesday with wholesale markets remaining closed in major cities but retailers carrying out business in many places.

Except the wholesale commodity and bullion markets in four metros, the first day of the strike call by apex trade bodies Confederation of All-India Traders (Cait), Bharat Udyog Vyapar Mandal and Akhil Bharatiya Vyapar Pratinidhi Mandal by and large did not hit retail businesses.

Grocery shops and chemists remained open although petrol pumps in Delhi were closed as petro-dealers were protesting the proposed diesel price hike as a consequence of hike in sales tax by the state government.

The trade bandh was reported to be largely successful only in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir.

The strike call evoked mixed response in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala, while it was partial in Assam, Orissa and Punjab.

Traders in some states like Tripura and Karnataka will go on strike on Thursday while there will be no agitation in Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Meghalaya.

Cait claimed traders belonging to more than 5,000 trade federations and chambers and their allied trade bodies across the country had observed the strike against implementation of Vat from April 1 and levy of service tax of goods transport on trading community.