The Assam Textile Merchants’ Association has urged the Government of Assam to withdraw the hike in entry tax on textiles. Entry tax on textiles and all related items has been increased from one percent to four percent with effect from September 14, 2009. In a press conference held at the Guwahati Press Club on Tuesday, the PRO, ATMA, Nirmal Samsukha, said that there is no entry tax on cloth and textiles in all the neighboring states of the north eastern region and West Bengal. As such, if such a tax is imposed, the textile business in Assam will be adversely affected and will shift to the neighboring states, where there is no tax.
He added, the cloth business is in unorganized sector, it involves many small and petty shopkeepers, who are self employed. Lakhs of people are directly or indirectly dependent on the textile trade. Any increase in the entry tax will be detrimental to this job oriented trade and may prove harmful to the people engaged in it. This might aggravate the unemployment situation of the state.
He further said that cloth is amongst the basic necessities of citizens. As the tax on textiles has been increased from one to four percent, it will directly hit the people of the state who are already reeling under the damaging effects of inflation. The prices of all kinds of cloth will rise and the citizens will be compelled to pay more for their basic requirements.
It may be mentioned in this context that a delegation of the Association had met the government authorities when one percent tax was imposed, requesting the withdrawal of the tax and the authorities had assured to review the matter. But now, this hike to four percent will prove damaging on all fronts. A team from the Association has met the chief minister and the commissioner of taxes and has submitted a memorandum requesting the withdrawal of this tax. ATMA has once again requested the authorities to withdraw the entry tax on textiles in the best interest of the citizens of Assam.
The meeting was attended by the President of the Association, Mohanlal Gangwal, Secretary, Arvind Kejriwal, Treasurer, Lalit Agarwal conveynors Subh Karan Maloo and Bhanwarlal Jain and other members of the Association.