Wholesale and retail grain markets in the city remained closed on Saturday due to a protest by traders against the GST Council's decision to levy a 5 per cent GST on pre-packed and labelled food items.
Delhi Grain Merchant Association President Naresh Kumar Gupta said that this is for the first time when non-branded food items are being brought under the GST and claimed that the decision was not in favour of the general public and traders.
We are against this decision. To protest against the move, we have decided to observe a bandh on Saturday. All shops dealing with grains are shut. We have requested Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to keep food items out of the GST net. This decision should be rolled back, Gupta told PTI.
He said that Saturday's strike was a symbolic one-day protest and any call on future strategy will be taken later.
The GST Council, the highest decision-making body on the levy of Goods and Services Tax, last month accepted most of the recommendations of a group of ministers from states on withdrawing exemptions with a view to rationalising the levy.
It was decided in the meeting that pre-packed and labelled meat (except frozen), fish, curd, paneer, honey, dried leguminous vegetables, dried makhana, wheat and other cereals, wheat or meslin flour, jaggery, puffed rice (muri), all goods and organic manure and coir pith compost will not be exempted from GST and will now attract a 5 per cent tax.
Meanwhile, traders in the APMC market at Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra also observed a bandh. In Jammu, traders held a protest march against the GST Council's decision to levy GST on cereals, grains and other pre-packed and labelled food items.