Confused over 2% TDS liability, Unjha traders plan strike

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on August 27, 2019

Traders have decided to suspend all activities at the local Agricultural Produce Market Committee as long as there is no clarity

Clarity sought on 2% TDS for cash withdrawal above ₹1 crore

Protesting the Centre’s move to tax cash withdrawals above ₹1 crore, agri produce traders at Unjha marketyard, one of the largest in the country, have called for a strike from September 1.

The Unjha Marketyard Merchants Association has decided to suspend all trading activities at the Unjha Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) as long as there is no clarity on the two per cent tax on annual cash withdrawal above ₹1 crore.

“We convened a general body meeting on August 26. We found that there was no clarity with banks or CAs on the rule of 2 per cent TDS applicable on cash withdrawals above ₹1 crore. We want clarity on the date of enforcement of the rule – whether it is September 1, 2019 or April 1, 2020,” Kanubhai Patel, President, Unjha Chambers of Commerce. Patel also stated that there was no protest against TDS per-se. “But let us have a clarity on the matter whether the said withdrawal limit is for single account or accounts held with multiple banks.”

In the Union Budget 2019-20, the Finance Minister had proposed to impose 2 per cent tax deducted at source (TDS) on cash withdrawals above ₹1 crore to discourage cash transactions in the economy.

Meanwhile, kharif crop arrivals are set to begin post-September. But the traders are unwilling to take any chance with the tax compliance and liability. Hence, they have decided to suspend trading activity for an indefinite period from September 1. Notably, the Unjha market committee is controlled by leaders affiliated with the ruling BJP.

Cashless payments

Earlier, Saurashtra APMC Traders' Association, a body of 39 APMCs in the Saurashtra region, had asked all its members to go cashless for payments to farmers beginning September 1. The traders had also raised their issues by writing letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani but failed to get any response.

However, the strike is not likely to hamper the trading activity as the arrivals have not yet begun in full swing.

Published on August 27, 2019

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