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The bandh call given by Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal to protest against the Centre’s decision to demonitise old currencies received a lukewarm response Monday. Several whole sale markets dealing with yarn, hosiery and iron among others remained closed in the initial few hours but opened their shops in the afternoon. Shops in Chaura Bazaar, Electronics Bazaar and Malerkotla remained shut for few hours fearing raids by I-T and sales tax officials.
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In Ludhiana, angry traders in the hosiery market and yarn bazaar raised anti-Modi slogans and vowed that they will not allow any I-T and sales tax officials enter their markets. “Our business have been hit badly due to demonitisation and if I-T and sales tax officials visit the market to harass us, we will gherao them and will not allow them to conduct checks,” said Radhey Shyam, president of Punjab Beopar Mandal and yarn dealers association.
Criticising Modi’s recent speeches, he further said, “Our day to day business is facing a lot of problems due to Prime Minister’s sudden announcement to withdraw 500 and 1,000 rupees notes from the market, and now the Prime Minister is giving threats through his speeches. We are not at all happy with his style of speech. Though we have welcomed the move, but the approach is painful and tedious. They should have planned it better before taking such a major decision.”
Meanwhile, the announcement by the Finance Ministry Monday stating that one can withdraw upto Rs 50,000 in a week from one’s current account and that cash withdrawal limit from saving accounts has also been increased, was welcomed by the industrialists, but they are hoping for more relaxations in the coming days.
Sunil Mehra, state general secretary of Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal said,”Most of the workers need cash for their daily expenses, so all of them are standing in queues. No one has turned up for work in my factory. I have no freedom to use my money deposited in banks. How will the business run ? Black money should go, but the Centre can’t make me a slave where I need permission for withdrawing my own hard-earned money.”
He informed that they will be hold a meeting with All India Beopar Mandal in this week and will decide the future course of action.