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Traders protest GST raids

It was a regular inspection, says Jalandhar -2 ETO Manish Goyal

Traders protest GST raids

Traders hold a dharna against GST raids at Basti Nau in Jalandhar on Thursday. Tribune Photo

Tribune News Service

Aakanksha N Bhardwaj

Jalandhar, February 2

In a first, a group of traders and industrialists held a protest during an ongoing inspection by a GST team. Earlier today, after a team from GST Department conducted inspection at a sports shop in Basti Nau area, some fellow traders and industrialists gathered on the scene and staged a dharna outside the unit while the inspection was still under way. The protesters claimed that the teams had threatened the unit owners.

Ramesh, the shop owner said that the incident took place in the afternoon and the team including the ETO and other inspectors had started an inspection. “We co-operate with them properly, but the government should end conducting such unnecessary raids,” he said.

As per the information, the team held checking for more than an hour, and till the time they remained inside the shop, the traders kept on protesting. Ravinder Dhir, who led the protest, said that they did not have any problem with the team. “They were doing their job. They come when they get orders, but our problem is with the government. Why are they allowing such raids?” he argued.

Manish Goyal, Excise Taxation Officer (ETO), Jalandhar -2, said, “It was a regular inspection, something which the teams have been doing for a long time.” “We performed our duties. They protested outside the unit, but they did not disrupt our inspection,” he added. The ETO noted that such inspections are being carried out across Punjab. “If we find out that someone is paying less in taxes than he or she is supposed to, we get it deposited with penalty,” Goyal warned.

Recently, some traders, under the banner of the Khel Udyog Sangh, banged utensils while sitting on the road in protest to reiterate their demand for ending such GST raids.

Notably, traders have been protesting against the ongoing GST raids for the past couple of months.

“We are being harassed. AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal had promised to end ‘inspector-raj’ if his party was voted to power. The party is now ruling the state. But instead of ending the ‘inspector raj’, the government has worsened the condition of traders and industrialists,” the members of the Sangh rued.

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