Most Kolkata shops observe trade strike over GST procedures
Representational picture

Most of the shops and retail establishments remained closed in the city on Friday following a day's strike called by the Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal (BUVM) against the procedures and provisions of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Many shops in Burrabazar, one of Asia's biggest wholesale market, kept their shutters down, while the usual buzz was missing in the iconic New Market as retailers observed the trade strike.

"In a bid to protest against the procedures and provisions of the GST which will be effective from July 1, we are observing a one-day strike today (Friday)," BUVM's patron and Chairman of the Federation of West Bengal Trade Associations Mahesh Singhania told IANS.

"Most of the shops and trading outfits remained shut in the city. In the districts, the strike, so far, has had a mixed impact," Singhania said.

"We are not against the GST but we will continue to demand simplification of laws, rules, penal provisions and reduction of compliance burden," he added.

Traders across districts came out with rallies protesting the "complex processes" in the new indirect tax regime.

Textile traders also joined the one-day strike.

Chamber of Textile Trade and Industry (COTTI) President Arun Bhuwalka said that lack of clarity on GST on textile-made things has confused the textile industry, which has lakhs of small and micro level entrepreneurs.

"GST was announced as one nation, one market and one tax -- it is not at all so with several tax slabs," Singhania added.