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Merchants to protest sales tax hike for plastic bag
March, 26th 2012

The budget proposal to hike the sales tax of plastic carry bags from 4% to 20% has not gone well with the merchants in the city. They are planning to launch a massive protest against the decision.

In the budget, finance minister K M Mani had announced the hike in sales tax of plastic carry bags citing the need to reduce the pollution caused by plastic. He had also made cloth bags completely free of tax. The merchants point out that such a steep hike would put thousands of retail merchants who sell plastic carry bags above 40 microns in misery. "The hike is too much for us to afford. The government should withdraw the decision," said Mohammad, a merchant in Chalai.

A group of merchants have already met the government officials and expressed their discontent over the decision. "We have been informed that they would look into the implications of the decision. But the government has not assured us an immediate withdrawal of the hike. Under such circumstances we will organize a protest," said a member of Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi.

The sales tax was raised to 12.5% during the tenure of LDF government. The merchants had raised their protest and it was brought down to 4%, merchants said.

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