Continuing their strike which is underway since the beginning of this month, textile traders in Surat on Saturday organised a silent march to protest five per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Protesters walked for three km through the city’s main textile market, wearing black bandannas.
Over one lakh people took part in the march, claimed Gaurav Shrimali, convener of `GST Sangharsh Samiti’.
The protest will continue until the government accepts their demand to roll back five per cent GST, he said.
Surat is one of the major textile trade hubs in the country.
“We have no issue with GST on yarn, but five per cent GST on subsequent value addition will make us suffer financially,” said Shrimali.
Protesters carried placards saying “GST Hatao, Vyapar Bachao” (Remove GST, Save Business) as they walked silently.
“The success credit goes to the youth brigade wing people of textile traders. The indefinite strike called by textile traders will continue in coming days till our demands are meted out. The textile traders of Delhi and other parts of the country have also supported Surat traders and they have also kept their shops closed. We have made representations to the district collector and hope that Central Government would come out with some possible solution or else in coming days we will also give some shocking programs in a peaceful way,” Surat GST Sangharsh Samithi president Tarachand Kasat was quoted by Indian Express.
On Monday, the organisers plan to distribute food to daily-wage labourers who work in the textile industry and who are suffering because of the strike, Shrimali said.
Police commissioner Satish Sharma said that tight security had been provided to ensure that the protest passed off peacefully.
On 3 July, the local police had come under flak for using brutal force against the protesters, who were staging peaceful march in the city.