All Orissa Textile Merchants Association (AOTMA) and Orissa Garments' Association (OGA) continued their stir for the second day today protesting the imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT) on textile products in the state.
The association members also downed the shutters of their shops at different places in the state and held rally in capital Bhubaneswar where they submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister demanding withdrawal of four percent tax on textile products.
The protest will be intensified further if the state government doesn't withdraw VAT on the textile products, said Rabindra Nath Mohapatra, President, AOTMA.
Meanwhile, state finance secretary, JK Mohapatra said, the VAT on textile in not a new tax as it was already there. He said, his department is studying the VAT rate on textile items in different states and will soon submit its suggestion to the government on the matter.
The traders feared that due to imposition of four percent VAT and two percent entry tax, the cost of the textile products in the state will be dearer in the state making the consumers to turn to neighbouring states where these products will be cheaper as no other state including West Bengal, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Chhatishgarh have imposed VAT on textile items.
Mohapatra said the governments of Rajasthan and Jharkhand, which imposed VAT on textile earlier, have already withdrawn it after the merchants of the respective states protested.