The Himachal Pradesh Veopar Mandal has taken a exception to the Centre’s move to enhance GST rates from 5 per cent to 12 per cent on cloth (textile), footwear, readymade garments and stationery items from January 1. The businessmen’s body has sought immediate revocation of the notification issued by the Government of India.
Sumesh Sharma, president of the mandal, today said the trading community, which was already passing through a financial crisis due to Covid, would suffer another setback after the GST rates are enhanced.
After the lockdown owing to the pandemic and unhealthy competition of online trading, businessmen were facing difficulty in surviving. “The proposed enhanced GST rates will rub salt into the wounds of the traders already struggling for survival,” he lamented.
Sharma said the state Veopar Mandal and its executive members had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him not to increase the GST rates, as it would result in price rise and corruption, besides trading complications. “How can we survive when a trader has to pay more tax than his margin of profit,” he questioned.
The mandal president said the Centre had made the GST regime complicated by bringing in 950 amendments to the GST structure during the past over four years, without taking the traders into confidence. He said the GST structure had made the trading a complex affair and even stamped traders as culprits if they were not aware of the amendments brought into the tax structure. “Squeezing business, rising GST rates and arduous tax structure has made the lives of traders miserable and their business has become unviable,” Sharma added.