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AP textile traders threaten to launch prolonged stir against 4% levy
July, 12th 2011

About one lakh textile traders shut their shops and establishments across Andhra Pradesh on Monday protesting against the levy of 4 per cent VAT (value added tax) on textiles and related items.

The one-day bandh is successful. Representatives of various textile associations in the State have submitted memoranda to people's representatives and officials, asking them to support their cause, Mr Soma Dayanand, General-Secretary of Andhra Pradesh Federation of Textiles Associations, told Business Line.

Asking the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, to intervene and withdraw the proposal, Mr Ompraksh Tibrewala, President of the Hyderabad Cloth Merchants Association, warned of launching prolonged agitation if the Government failed to act quickly on this.

Terming the levy of tax arbitrary and illogical, he said it would drive wholesale textile business away to neighbouring States where there was no such tax. Stating that imposition of VAT would lead to increased burden on traders in the form of administrative work, he said it would also result in higher costs to the consumers.

It was in 1957 the textile market was closed for 13 days to protest against levy of sales tax on textiles. Then sales tax was abolished. Since then States were getting a share in Additional Excise Duty, leaving no pilferages, Mr Tibrewala, who was the former President of Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said.

Cloth merchants and textile traders here in Visakhapatnam closed shops on Monday, in response to the bandh call given by the Andhra Pradesh Federation of Textile Associations, in protest against the imposition of 4 per cent VAT on textiles.

Textile traders took out a procession to the District Collector's office, staged a demonstration and submitted a memorandum urging the State Government to withdraw the tax immediately. Mr M.V. Ramana, Chairman of the CMR Mall, Mr Mallick, of Kanakatala Silks, and other prominent traders said the levy would place additional burden on the common man. It was not warranted and the State Government should reconsider its decision, they added.

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