Even as textile traders over all India continue to stage protests against the imposition of GST, the Punjab Congress and the state government has been shying away from joining the cause of the traders who have been protesting in Ludhiana and Amritsar for the last two weeks.
Though individuals like Amritsar MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla and Amritsar (North) MLA Sunil Dutti, both from the Congress, have extended personal support to the textile traders, the party has kept a distance from the protest so far.
Rakesh Khanna, who is leading the protest in Ludhiana said, “We have been protesting for the last two weeks. No Congress leader has come to us. We have met the state Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal recently. He only gave us assurance to raise the demand to free textile trade from GST in next meeting of GST council. It is not enough. We need immediate relief.”
MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla said, “I personally support the demands of traders. I have decided to raise this issue in the coming session of Parliament. There should be no tax on textile industry as several illiterate people are dependent on this profession to earn their daily bread and it would not be possible for them to follow complicated instructions under GST. At least, they should had been given some time to them to adopt these changes.”
He, however, didn’t decline that Congress party hasn’t reacted to the situation yet. “I have been raising this issue on my own. As far as party is concerned, only Pradesh Congress Committee president Sunil Jakhar can talk about it,” he said. MLA Sunil Dutti said, “I have a assured them I will do everything possible to support their cause.”