Traders' body warn of strike over VAT

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Lucknow, Jan 30 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh 'Udyog Vyapar Pratinidhi Mandal' today warned of a two-day strike from February 9, if the Mayawati government did not concede to their demand of tax reduction under the Value Added Tax (VAT).

''We were assured that the 4 per cent additional trade tax in UP would be waived akin to Bihar and Rajasthan...but, nothing has been done so far,'' Mandal state president and MP Banwari Lal Kanchal told a press conference here this evening.

''On January 27, we had handed over a memorandum to UP Trade Tax Commissioner. He had promised to solve our grievances at the earliest. Sadly, nothing has happened. The BSP asked us to end our battle against VAT with a promise to reduce the 4 per cent tax to 1 per cent. But, Chief Minister Mayawati announced nothing to that effect at her Jhansi rally yesterday,'' Mr Kanchal underlined.

If the UP government does not make food grain tax free by February 7, the traders would go on a two-day strike from February 9.

Dismissing all qualms of traders about the new tax regime in UP, the state government implemented VAT from new year, claiming it was aimed at benefiting the common man and accelerating the pace of development.

Mr Kanchal further flayed the state government over the murder of two jewellers in Lucknow on January 22 and 27.

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