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Concessional income tax rate in traders' list of demands for Modi govt
May, 28th 2019

After successfully campaigning for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections, the more than 60-million traders’ community is ready with its list of demands, including a concessional income tax rate, for the new government.

Seeking a meeting with Modi, trade leader Praveen Khandelwal said they would apprise him of core issues merchants faced and ask for promises be fulfilled in the next six months.

Apart from this, there are a few other demands.

The BJP, in a bid to woo traders, made promises in its manifesto, such as a pension scheme for shopkeepers and a merchant credit card on the lines of the Kisan credit card.

“We will remind the government of all the promises. We will press for a quick implementation of these schemes by including them in the upcoming Finance Bill in July,” said Khandelwal, secretary general, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

In addition, Khandelwal said they would seek a concessional income-tax rate for traders. “Being the unsaid collector of taxes for the government, we will seek a special income tax rate for trading community. There is merit in our demand,” he added.

The CAIT had declared support for the BJP and its allies in the Lok Sabha election. It said the decision was taken after analysing the election manifestos of political parties. Besides, the CAIT will press for a single licence for traders.

“Currently, traders require many licences. There should be a single licence,” he said.

The BJP has promised Rs 50-lakh collateral-free credit to entrepreneurs. In addition, it has also talked about establishing a National Traders’ Welfare Board and a National Policy for Retail Trade. The ministry of commerce and industry last year proposed setting up a taskforce to formulate a policy for retail trade, pointing out that it was crucial for the Indian economy but should not sacrifice the interests of consumers.

Like the Kisan credit card, traders are looking forward to a merchant credit card, which will allow them instant credit of up to Rs 1 lakh from any bank. Traders registered under the goods and services tax (GST) have been promised accident insurance of Rs 10 lakh.

Besides, the CAIT is prep­aring comprehensive papers on the GST, foreign direct in­vestment in retail, e-comme­rce policy among others, to be presented to the government.

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