Over one lakh textile traders in Andhra Pradesh downed shutters today in protest against the State Government’s move to bring textile under Sensitive Commodities and refusal to roll back VAT implementation.

The traders, under the aegis of the AP Federation of Textile Associations, will also follow a self-imposed ban on buying textile products from other States, such as Maharashtra and Gujarat from tomorrow.

The federation expects this move to prompt textile manufacturers in other States to put pressure on the centre for roll-back of VAT implementation in the State.

Ammanabolu Prakash, President of the federation, said if the State Government was unrelenting in the roll-back, textile traders will have no other option other than an indefinite bandh.

The one-day bandh will cost textile traders in the State about Rs 10-15 crore, as this was a low season for textile sales. Textile sales touch Rs 50-60 crore a day during the peak season.

In fact, traders had decided last month not to pay VAT till a uniform tax regime in the form of GST was in place in the country. The Andhra Pradesh Government’s move to bring textile under sensitive commodities category will force traders to register under VAT for any products they bring from other States.

He said the State Government was unrelenting on VAT roll-back as it did not want to lose revenue of Rs 1,000 crore. “Even assuming this figure is correct, how come in Maharashtra, where the business is 30 times more than in our State, there is no VAT on textile,” he asked.

amit.mitra@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 27, 2013)
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