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TN chamber calls for bandh on August 13

Our Correspondent

MADURAI, Aug. 9

THE Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has threatened to go on a 24-hour bandh commencing at 6.00 a.m. on August 13, protesting against the State Government's new tax measures.

At a press conference here, Mr S. Rethinavelu, President, said that trade and industry were already suffering due to the recessionary trend and global competition and fresh levies at this juncture would lead to an economic downtrend. Enhancement of sales tax from 8 per cent to 12 per cent for several products, increase of sales tax registration fee and surcharge of 5 per cent on sales tax, ultimately added to the financial burden of the public, he alleged.

Mr Rethinavelu said that the trading community, especially small traders, had been put to hardship ever since July 1, 2002, when the multipoint tax (resale tax) came into effect. It was not possible for a small trader, who took care of all aspects of business, to keep proper accounts. He pointed out that single-point taxation had been followed over the past two decades and that "under no circumstances the business community would accept levy of multipoint tax".

The chamber President criticised the State Government for imposing fresh sales tax on essential items such as rice, wheat, pulses, grams, jaggery and edible oil and stated that rice had not been subject to sales tax over the past 40 years. Further, there was the risk of edible oil trade and industry shifting to the neighbouring States to avail of the advantage of sales tax exemption there, resulting in unhealthy competition

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