Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal to organise meeting of traders in July
To discuss about attitude of state government and centre as well towards traders
Ludhiana: Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal (PPBM) has decided to organise a meeting of traders in July, to discuss about the attitude of the state government and the centre as well towards traders.
Addressing a press conference here today, the mandal's state general secretary Sunil Mehra, state secretary Mohinder Aggarwal and chairman Pawan Lahar added that after the proposed meeting of traders in July, an action plan will be prepared for the future.
Expressing their great dissatisfaction with the timing of closing of general shops, they said the state government must change the closure time of all shops. They demanded that all the shops should be allowed to remain open till 8 pm instead of 7 pm on the pattern of liquor vends that are allowed to remain open till 8 pm. They said it is strange to note as to why the state government is treating differently the general shops and the liquor vends.
They appreciated Centre's announcements to protect interests of small traders and industrialists but there several banks are not acceding to these announcements, resulting to which these small traders and industrialists are finding it difficult to get finance from the banks. They urged upon the Centre to appoint a Nodal Officer to collect all the ground-level information, to resolve the issue. The Centre should also make arrangements to apprise small traders and industrialists about all updates, if any, through print media.
They also expressed their concern over the return of large scale labour to their respective home states. They said the present situation has put the industry into a great crisis, adding more than 5 lakh workers have so far returned to their home states from Punjab so far. They also demanded that the state government should waive off water and electricity bills as everything was closed during the sixty days of lock down period in Punjab. They regretted that instead of giving any relief the traders were receiving huge electricity bills.
The mandal leaders also demanded immediate release of rs.1,000 crore VAT refunds. They pointed out that the VAT refunds, if released, would give some speed to the slugging speed of trade and industry.
Further, they said a meeting of GST Council is to be held under the leadership of the Union Finance Minister through video conferencing. They demanded that the Council should provide relief to traders by giving some relaxations to traders' community as the GST officials are harassing the traders of Punjab on one or the other pretext and raids are being conducted despite the fact that traders have suffered huge losses due to lock down/curfew in the state. They demanded strict action against the GST officials allegedly indulged into harassment of traders. They also demanded that the GST Rate should be brought down to 50 per cent for the next six months so that traders might get some relief.