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Bharat Bandh Today: Commercial establishments remain closed; Farmers Union backs protest

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New Delhi, Feb 26: Most of the commercial markets across the country remained closed across the country on Friday (February 26, 2021) in view of the Bharat Bandh called by the Indian traders' bodies in protest against GST, fuel price hike, E-Way Bill.

bandh

Markets, trucks and transport have been called to remain shut. However, essential services like medical shops, milk, vegetable shop and other essential shops will remain open.

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The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), spearheading antifarm laws protests at Delhi borders, have extended support to the call for strike.

According to PTI, the All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA) has also decided to support CAIT in the Bharat bandh demanding the abolition of the new E-Way Bill or scrapping of certain rules. It has also requested the government to abolish E-Way Bill and track vehicles by using Fast-Tag connectivity to E-Invoice and to scrap the penalty on transporters for any time-based compliance target of transit and make diesel prices uniform across the country.

AITWA National President Mahendra Arya said, "All state level-transport associations have confirmed their support to AITWA in this one-day non-operation of transport in protest of the fuel price hike and scrapping of new E-way bill laws introduced by Government of India."

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"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," said Arya.

"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," Arya added.

CAIT wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday raising issues related to the GST regime, and alleging violation of e-commerce rules by major e-tailers.

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In its letter to the prime minister, CAIT called for the setting up of a "special working group" at the central level comprising senior officials, CAIT representatives and independent tax experts to review the GST structure and make recommendations to the government. It also suggested that a "District GST working Group" may be constituted in each district to monitor smooth GST implementation and to take steps for the widening of the tax base and augmentation of revenue.

In the letter, CAIT said that a few recent amendments in GST have given "arbitrary and unfettered powers" to the government officials.

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