New Delhi: Traders struck work yesterday demanding the immediate postponement
of the value added tax (VAT) introduction date, stating that the VAT design
in the present form was not acceptable to the trading community.
nationwide trade bandh called by Bharat Udyog Vyapar Mandal and Confederation
of All India Traders (CAIT) evoked a strong response and paralysed trade in
many parts of the country.
are gearing up for a VAT regime that would replace the sales tax system from
April 1, 2005. Even as traders continued to press for deferment of the introduction
date, India Inc and apex industry associations said that VAT should be implemented
from April 1 without any further postponement.
''empowered committee of state finance ministers on VAT'' had set up a joint
committee that included representatives from trade and industry. The joint
committee enabled the trade and industry to submit its views on VAT implementation.
CAIT secretary general said that trade leaders from across the country are
scheduled to meet at Jhansi on February 27 and chalk out plans for the proposed
five ''VAT rathyatras'' that would be taken out from different parts
of the country during the first week of March and finally assemble at New
also said that traders would observe a day-long ''hunger strike'' on March 17
in all states up to the district level and would hand over a traders'' charter
on VAT to district collectors, the respective state finance ministers and
chief ministers and other tax authorities.
to the traders'' call for deferment of VAT introduction date, the president
of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Onkar
S. Kanwar, described as "unfortunate" the apprehensions of the traders
that the introduction of VAT would lead to inflation and complexity in complying
with procedural requirements.
he said, is a fiscal innovation of the 21st century and 20 million people
working in the industry are eagerly looking forward to its introduction.