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Merchants observe bandh to protest against VAT

By Staff
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Rajahmundry, Feb 22 (UNI) More than 6000 cloth merchants in East Godavari district observed a bandh today in response to the call given by the Andhra Pradesh Federation of Textiles Asssociation in protest against the state government's decision to impose Value Added Tax (VAT).

Hundreds of merchants raising slogans marched towards Thadithota where they staged a rasta roko for some time. The protestors then proceeded to Godavari Railway station and stopped the Rajahmundry-Bhimavaram passenger for ten minutes as a symbloic protest. Later, they submitted a memoranum to the Sub-collector demanding withdrawal of the VAT as it would lead to harassment of the merchants by the officials besides burdening the customers.

East Godavari District Cloth Merchants Federation Chairman Bommana Rajkumar said business to the tune of Rs six crore were affected in the district following the day-long bandh.

A report from Chittoor said all wholesale, retail and cloth shops in the district were closed in response to the bandh.

In Tirupati, about 500 cloth merchants raising slogans took out a procession from Gandhi road to Nalugukalla mandapam against the ''anti-attitude of the state government towards the cloth merchants.

UNI BAK-KNR ROY RP HS2143

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