Bharat Bandh: Massive Strike Against GST, Fuel Prices By 8 Crore Traders, Transporters Across India

Farmers’, traders’ and transport worker bodies have come together to voice protest against the government’s inadequate handling of GST, E-way bill and more.

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) declared a nationwide strike/bandh today. Their demands include a review of the GST regime, e-way bill grievances and fuel price reduction.

All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA) also lent its support to the cause with its own grievances to address. They are calling for e-way bill to be scrapped and e-invoice to take its place instead, along with a drop in fuel price


What is Affected?

Trucks will not be operating on any roads today, they will instead be parked on roads in protest between 6am to 8pm. Transport godowns will be sporting protest banners. Customers will be urged to refrain from placing any orders or booking any vehicles.

Farmer unions will also participate. Kisan Ekta Morcha and Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) have expressed support.

Commercial establishments apart from essential services, milk and vegetable vendors will be closed. 

Traders will not visit the gst portal, commuting will be near impossible due to closure of services and movement of goods will cease temporarily.

E-way Bill Concerns

Introduced in 2018 the sender of goods has to fill in an online form concerning details of whatever he is hiring a truck to carry. If the trucker has a faulty or an expired pass/bill they get harshly penalised-  200 per cent of the tax value, or 100 per cent of the invoice value.

Explaining in length what his organisation’s concerns are, Mahendra Arya, National President AITWA said,  “AITWA demands abolishing the E-way bill as the newly introduced E-invoice is good enough for preventing tax evasion. Vehicles may be tracked by the government using Fast Tag connectivity to E-invoice. Transporters should not be subject to any penalty by the government for any time-based compliance target of transit. Diesel prices should be reduced and mechanisms need to be discussed and created with the Transport Industry for future regulation. Diesel prices should be equalized across the length and breadth of the nation”. 

GST Concerns

CAIT criticised the strong armed approach of the Centre with regards to GST compliance along with technical problems with the online presence of GST portal.

Fuel Price Concerns

AITWA wants fuel prices to be lowered and for the centre to see to it that prices do not skyrocket again in the future. They also demand that diesel prices be uniform across the country.

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