Taking a lesson from farmers, traders have garnered enough numbers to force the government to the negotiating table to simplify Goods and Services Tax (GST) rules.
On Monday, trade leaders held a meeting where the government was represented by finance secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey and chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) PC Mody. A separate meeting was held with M Ajit Kumar, chairman of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).
The campaign against GST is being led by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), an umbrella organization of trade associations across the country. CAIT has leanings towards the Sangh Parivar, and had carried out campaigns to boycott Chinese goods along with Swadeshi Jagran Manch.
“We held a three-day traders meet at Nagpur attended by over 300 trade association leaders. One of them was Pradeep Singhal, who heads the transporters’ guild. It was decided that traders will go on a one-day strike on February 26. Even Singhal announced they would bring transport to a halt, stopping all deliveries for a day. The very next day we got a message from the government,” said BC Bhartia, national president of CAIT.