Textile traders took out a massive rally in Surat on Saturday against the 5 per cent Good and Services Tax (GST) on man-made fibre and submitted a memorandum to the district collector. The rally took a three-km circular route around the city’s textile market after police refused permission for the original plan of a 7-km march to the collectorate.
Police granted permission to the rally on the condition that it should be within limits of textile trading markets. The rally was peaceful. Traders were seen holding banners saying ‘No GST’ on textiles. No women were seen , however. Earlier, the GST Sangharsh Samiti — the umbrella organisation which is spearheading the protest — had announced that women engaged in saree embellishing work would also join the rally.
A delegation of textile traders later went to the District Collector’s office and handed over a memorandum demanding rollback of 5 per cent GST on textiles. “The credit for the successful rally goes to the youth brigade of the GST Sangharsh Samiti.
The indefinite strike called by textile traders will continue in the coming days till our demands are met. Textile traders of Delhi and other parts of the country have also supported us. We hope the Centre will come out with a solution or else we will hold programmes in a peaceful manner,” Surat GST Sangharsh Samithi president Tarachand Kasat said.
On Sunday, over 9 lakh machines running in 60,000 powerlooms across Surat will stop production as factory owners have decided to join their textile business counterparts in the protest against GST.