Around 1.5 lakh small and medium size traders across the state participated in the All India Bharat Vyapar Bandh in Jharkhand on Friday, evoking a good response in the state.
Several trade unions including Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FJCCI ), Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Jharkhand Electric Suppliers Association and Jharkhand Thok Vastra Vikreta Sangh extended support to the bandh.
Members of the Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry and CAIT went around Bistupur and Sakchi on Friday morning to ensure that traders voluntarily shut down their shops.
All retail garment, electronic and jewellery stores remained closed in commercial markets of Kolhan region in Jamshedpur.
Similarly, a section of traders in Ranchi, Dhanbad and elsewhere in the state participated in the bandh by not opening their shops.
"We extended our moral support to the bandh," said Praveen Kumar Chhabra, president of the Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The call of Bharat Vyapar Bandh was given by CAIT to lodge strong protest of the business community against some of the ‘arbitrary’ and ‘draconian’ amendments made in GST Rules on December 22. The protesters sought their immediate deferment.
The CAIT also protested against unethical business practices of foreign e-commerce companies who are continuously and openly “violating the FDI policy” much to the disadvantage of domestic trade of the country.
CAIT national secretary Suresh Sonthalia said that the arbitrary and unfettered powers given to tax officials will bring Inspector Raj in the country once again.
He feared that instead of using it against the tax offenders, the harassment and victimisation of the honest and tax complying traders cannot be ruled out on the basis of the traders’ past experience.
“The CAIT has demanded that the controversial provisions of GST rules should be kept in abeyance and traders should be taken into confidence before bringing any amendment in law or the rules,” he said.
“Tax offenders and evaders must be given exemplary punishment but the distinction between error and evasion should be spelled out clearly,” Sonthalia added.
CAIT, the apex union of traders, demanded the immediate issuance of a new press note to replace press note No.2 of the FDI policy plugging the loopholes and escape route to e-commerce companies who are bent upon in violating the law and policy.
Indian laws are weak and can be twisted to their side even after repeated warnings from the Centre, the organisation said.
The movement has already been supported by All India Transport Welfare Association (AITWA), the top organisation of transporters, which also observed a 'Chakka Jam' on Friday.
Movement of heavy vehicles, especially trucks and trailers, were affected.