South Asia

CCI Calls J&K Budget Anti-Trade, Anti-Poor, Threatens Strike

A shopkeeper poses for a picture as he counts Indian currency notes at his shop in Jammu May 16, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Mukesh Gupta/Files

A shopkeeper poses for a picture as he counts Indian currency notes at his shop in Jammu May 16, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Mukesh Gupta/Files

Jammu: Terming the Jammu and Kashmir budget as “anti-trade and anti-poor”, the Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CCI) has threatened to call a strike in Jammu from June 4 if the government did not rollback the increase in VAT and toll taxes as proposed in the budget.

“The chamber feels totally disappointed from the traders’ point of view as the main demand of the trading community for rationalisation of taxes has not been met in the budget,” CCI president Rakesh Gupta said.

He said that while CCI hails the extension on exemptions to the industrial sector, it feels dejected that there was no comprehensive industrial policy that would help the existing industry, and that in the absence of this no new industries would come up.

“The chamber welcomes the decision to reserve land for woman entrepreneurs in industrial estates but we ask the state government where the land bank is?” he said.

He said CCI feels that pre-budget meetings were just an “eyewash” and the people in financial department have rushed to just fulfil the formality of presenting budget without sensing what impact this increase of VAT and toll taxes will have on trade and the common man.

“CCI declares this state budget as anti-trade and anti-poor. We demand complete roll back of increase in VAT as the trade can’t survive with highest ever taxes being imposed as compared with the rest of India. Also, the increase in toll tax which we have termed illegal will make all commodities costlier,” Gupta said.

He said CCI had convened a meeting of all business associations tomorrow as it had been left with no option but to call a strike if the state government did not roll back the increase in VAT and toll tax.