Trade associations from coastal districts in Andhra Pradesh demanded that the government immediately roll back the enhanced taxes imposed on certain goods coming under Value Added Tax (VAT).
The government had hiked VAT by over two per cent from 12.5 to 14.5 per cent on cosmetics, electrical appliances, automobile spares and some other products with effect from January 15.
In protest, traders and businessmen from all coastal districts met here this morning to decide the future course of action on the issue.
Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Guntur President A Anjaneyulu told reporters after the meeting the decision of the government to increase VAT on certain items was against the principle of Uniform Tax being implemented all over the country.
He questioned the government on why it had taken a hasty decision when the Budget Session of the Assembly was slated in the second week of next month.
Mr Anjaneyulu also said the State Government decision was not proper as the Centre was contemplating to introduce Goods and Service TAX (GST) shortly and opined the increased taxes under VAT would put more burden on the common man.
Vijayawada Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Gaddam Subba Rao termed the government decision as anti-people.
The Congress Government could expect higher revenue with the increase of taxes but it may lose by more evasion, he contended.
Andhra Pradesh Lorry Owners Association (APLOA) General Secretary Y V Eswara Rao said the hike on VAT would hit the transport sector.
He said with the increase of taxes, many disputes have been arising between transport vehicle buyers and suppliers on collection of the taxes.
If the trend continued in Andhra Pradesh, many transport operators will shift their operations to neighbouring States like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka where the taxes are low.