Textile traders protest against VAT in state

Bhubaneswar: Textile traders in the state on Tuesday closed their outlets protesting against the state government`s imposition of value added tax (VAT) on textile products.

The All Orissa textile merchants` association (AOTMA) said that it has decided to keep the textile shops closed on Wednesday as well and stage rallies in different districts.

While the neighbouring states like West Bengal, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have not imposed VAT on textile products, Orissa is the lone state where such tax is collected on clothes, the association said.

"Why consumer will prefer to purchase textile products from here when the same material is available at a cheaper price in the nearby towns of neighbouring states," AOTMA President R N Mohapatra questioned here.

The price of clothes in the state will be hiked by 6 per cent than other states as the state government has decided to collect entry tax at 2 per cent and VAT at 4 per cent, he said. The VAT would be imposed from April 8, he added.

Mohapatra said the governments of Rajasthan and Jharkhand, which imposed VAT on textile earlier, have already withdrawn it after the merchants of the respective states protested.

"We have already submitted the documents and notifications of the other states to the government officials and demand that the government`s decision on imposition of VAT be reconsidered," he said.

The traders were forced to go on strike as the government did not consider the demands of the association, he said.