A large number of entrepreneurs from micro, small and medium enterprise sectors took out a rally in the city on Monday under the aegis of Indian Industries Association (IIA) in protest against the introduction of entry tax on more than a dozen items and increase in Value-Added Tax (Vat) rates on more than 75 items. However, the local administration stopped the rallyists going beyond Moti Mahal grounds on the pretext of maintenance of peace.
Addressing the rally, IIA senior vice-president Anil Gupta, while lamenting the action of the administration in stopping the rally, said that it was a peaceful rally in which law abiding entrepreneurs were participating.
There is not a single incident in the past that can be cited where any congregation of entrepreneurs has ever resorted to any activity leading to disruption in law and order, he said.
Prashant Bhatia, secretary, IIA, Lucknow chapter, said that in one stroke the government had killed the local industry disregarding the potential of employment generation from this sector.
Introduction of entry tax on steel and other items would only encourage rampant tax evasion.
Increase in Vat rates on plant and machine from four per cent to 12.5 per cent plus entry tax of one per cent as compared to four per cent being charged in other states shows how the state government wants to systemically drive industry out of the state, alleged Sanjiv Agarwal, another IIA office-bearer.
Shiv Shankar Awasthi, co-chairman IIA Lucknow chapter said that increase in VAT rates on processed food and vegetables from per cent to 12.5 per cent would destroy agro-based industry in the state which was primarily an agro-based economy.