Bharat bandh: Shops, commercial establishments in Odisha lower the shutters | Bhubaneswar News

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BHUBANEWAR: Stores and business establishments across the state closed their shutters on Friday to heed the Bharat bandh appeal by the Confederation of Traders of India (CAIT) to protest against product tax rules and services (TPS) and other issues.
The markets looked deserted because of the bandh. Security guards have been deployed to several locations across the state to monitor public order situations and monitor antisocial elements. The bandh was completely peaceful statewide, according to police sources.
Although road, rail and other communications were not affected that day, the closure of stores and commercial activities in state markets helped reduce vehicle traffic on the road. Drug stores and gas stations were functioning normally because CAIT had excluded these two areas from Bharat bandh.
Like Bhubaneswar, other towns like Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela, Sambalpur and Balasore have witnessed similar scenes. Some people have also encountered problems because of the Bandh. “I checked with several stores to buy a spare part for a vehicle after my car broke down, but I couldn’t find any because of the Bandh,” said Laxmi Charan Sahu from Patia.
Sudhakar Panda, chairman of CAIT’s Odisha section, said the bandh was successful. “I am really happy that traders and their associations have observed the bandh peacefully across the state. The response was overwhelming and people spontaneously supported the bandh. Odisha has more than 20 lakh traders and 400 traders associations. Business of Rs 4000 crore was affected on Friday, ”he added.
He said the GST rule should be simplified for easy understanding and acceptance by traders. “Merchants should be able to keep their perspective on the GST. Harassment of traders by government agencies must stop, ”he added.
Panda said the Center should give serious thought to e-merchants breaking e-commerce rules. “Because of this violation, the government is losing revenue. Price gouging, insane discounts and other issues create problems for existing offline stores, ”he added.
Cuttack traders attended a rally and submitted a memorandum to the government through the Cuttack District Collector. Binod Chandra Sahu, head of a Cuttack trader group, said the Center should accommodate traders’ demands and simplify the GST.
Merchants said electronic invoices collected from carriers was a regressive rule. Carriers have to cover the total journey 200 km per day, from the place of the sender to the place of the consignee, which is not possible all the time due to factors such as accidents, consolidation of partial load, traffic jams, driver’s personal problems and the like.


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