Black flags welcome Jaitley in Ludhiana, demand GST withdrawal

July 17, 2017 04:36 AM
Punjab farmers at a meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitely
 Ludhiana: Union finance minister Arun Jaitley faced protests from businessmen and farmers over GST, during his visit to the city on Saturday.
Seeking its withdrawal, while traders reiterated that the new tax should not have been imposed in such a hurry , the farmers lamented the levying GST on farming inputs and equipment was putting an additional burden on the farmers.

Since morning, different groups of industrialists and farmer unions were trying to reach Sat Paul Mittal School in Dugri where Jaitley was scheduled to preside over a function. Though protestors were unable to reach the venue due to heavy police presence, a group of businessmen led by industrialist Jaswinder Thukral managed to dodge the police and gathered near Dugri bridge with black flags and placards reading ` Arun Jaitley Go Back', and `Arun Jaitley Murdabad'.

When Jaitley's cavalcade was returning from the school, the businessmen tried to stop his car, but timely intervention of cops helped prevent the situation.

Speaking to media, Thukral said, “Our protest was against draconian law of GST forced upon us. Just to fulfil their tenacity, some leaders and Union ministers are attempting to finish the small industry . Today's protest was just a trailer. Businessmen in every city and town are joining hands and gearing up to oppose GST.“ Representatives of various farmer unions ­­ Balbir Rajewal, president of Bharti Kisan Union (BKU-Rajewal group) and Harinder Lakhowal, general secretary , BKU-Lakhowal ­­ met Arun Jaitley and lodged their opposition against imposing GST on the farming sector.

Rajewal said, “During our meeting with the Union finance minister, we informed him that levying GST on farming inputs including pesticides, fertilizers, weedicides and farm machinery will put an additional burden of Rs 750 crore on farmers of Punjab and the government should immediately withdraw GST from our sector.“

Meanwhile, he also assured the delegation that their demands will be studied by his ministry and they will be invited to Delhi for discussions and resolution of their problems.

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