Bharat Bandh on 26 February: All commercial markets to remain closed, over 8 crore traders to protest against GST, fuel price hike

All commercial markets across the country will remain closed across the country on 26 February in view of the Bharat Bandh called by the traders’ body in protest against GST, fuel price hike, E-Way Bill.The Indian traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has announced that all commercial markets across the country will remain closed on February 26.  Traders across the country are demanding a review of the provisions of the goods and services tax (GST) regime.
According to the CAIT, the traders will stage dharnas (protests) at as many as 1,500 places across the nation on February 26, demanding the Centre, state governments and the GST Council to keep in abeyance the “draconian” provisions of GST.The CAIT also called for a review of the GST system and its tax slabs to simplify and rationalise it for easier compliance by traders. CAIT Secretary-General Praveen Khandelwal said it is also talking to the government on this issue, adding that All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA) will also support CAIT’s Bharat Bandh call and hold a ‘Chakka Jam’ on February 26.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, he said, “All commercial markets across the country will remain closed and protest dharnas will be organised in different cities of all states,” adding that along with CAIT, over 40,000 traders’ associations across the country will support the Bandh.Khandelwal observed that voluntary compliance is the key to a successful GST regime, as it will encourage more people to join the indirect tax system, increase tax base and boost revenue. According to reports, over 40,000 traders’ associations across the country will support the Bandh. All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA) will also support CAIT’s Bharat Bandh call and hold a ‘Chakka Jam’ on February 26.Nearly 40, 000 trade associations, who represent eight crore traders of the country, has extended support to the Bharat Bandh call given by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on February 26.The AITWA has also urged the government to abolish E-Way Bill and track vehicles by using Fast-Tag connectivity to E-Invoice and to scrap the penalty on transporters for any time-based compliance target of transit and make diesel prices uniform across the country. 
Almost 950 amendments have been made so far to GST rules in the past four years, he said, adding that the issues related to glitches in the GST portal and the continuous increase in compliance burden are the major lacunae in the tax regime.

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