Cloth merchants hail withdrawal of VAT
Vijayawada: The cloth merchants here on Monday welcomed the Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy's decision to withdraw Value Added Tax (VAT) on...
Vijayawada: The cloth merchants here on Monday welcomed the Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy's decision to withdraw Value Added Tax (VAT) on garments. The merchants, who have been opposing VAT for the past 20 months and agitating against the tax, celebrated the withdrawal of the tax by the government. Speaking on the occasion, the Andhra Pradesh Textile Federation vice-president, Batchu Venkata Narasimha Rao and the Krishnaveni Wholesale Cloth Market general secretary, Vellampalli Ramachandra Rao, thanked the textile merchants who stood firmly against VAT and displayed their unity during the last 20 months of agitation. They said that the unity displayed by the traders had made the government to think of the proposal and finally withdraw it. Ramachandra Rao said that the Chief Minister had agreed to withdraw the five per cent VAT on garments and impose just one per cent tax on par with other States. This would be implemented from April 1, 2012, which was acceptable to the traders across the State. He said that they have held several rounds of talks with the officials and the ministers, besides the Chief Minister and explained to them the difficulties of implementing VAT on garments. He said that they have impressed upon the officials and the Chief Minister that the cloth trade was spread over the State as a family business with individual traders conducting the business for generations together. As the business is also done in the villages, it was difficult for them to handle the VAT, he said and added that it would also reflect on the consumers with the prices going up. He said that the textile merchants across the State have held indefinite strike for 23 days registering their protest. He further added that they have submitted representations to the legislators, MLCs, MPs and others who matter to the government and finally won on the issue. The merchants thanked the Chief Minister, the ministers T G Venkatesh, Anam Ramanarayana Reddy and Prasad Kumar, legislators Malladi Vishnu, Vellampalli Srinivas and Bangaru Usha Rani who have taken initiative in holding talks with the government on behalf of the textile merchants.