SRINAGAR: Continuing their indefinite anti-VAT strike for the seventh day on Tuesday, traders in Jammu and Kashmir have decided not to pay any taxes to the government from now on.
This brings them in direct confrontation with the government that implemented VAT here from April 1.
Shopkeepers and businessmen shut down their businesses for the seventh consecutive day and the alleged apathy from the local government, as per the traders’ federation, has left them with no option other than stopping the payment of all taxes due to the government.
Gulam Mohiuddin Makaya, the president of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers, told reporters here, “The administration has been maintaining that the implementation of VAT would bring down prices and simplify procedures.
“A bag of cement, which used to cost Rs.180, costs Rs.218 after VAT came into force here. A truckload of bricks now costs Rs.1,200 more than the pre-VAT cost. Even the prices of chicken have gone up by Rs.2 per kg. The government here is making it a prestige issue at the cost of our livelihood and with inconvenience to the general public.”
Police had to intervene at a number of places here as striking traders pelted traffic with stones, asking transporters to join their strike.
Schools, government offices and banks functioned as usual across Kashmir though the traders’ shutdown call appeared to have invoked a total response in markets across the valley.
VAT, or value added tax, came into implemented in 20 Indian states from April 1. Also Check Royal Enfield price