GST: Sweetmeat shop owners decide to intensify movement
Kolkata: With the end of the three-day relay hunger strike protesting against imposing Goods and Services Tax (GST) on sweets on Sunday, sweet shop owners have decided to intensify their movement if the Centre continues to remain indifferent to their demand.
The sweet shop owners demanded to the Centre to lift GST from sweets as it is a perishable items and imposing GST on it would leave an adverse affect on the trade, especially in Bengal.
The future course of action of the West Bengal Sweetmeat Confectioners' Association under which there are around 2 lakh sweet shops will be decided in a meeting scheduled to be held on the first week of September. "It would be wrong to think that our movement is going to stop here with the conclusion of the relay hunger strike in which more than 450 sweet shop owners have taken part. Instead, we would intensify our movement if the Centre didn't give us any positive response," said Rabindra Kumar Paul, general secretary of the association.
Since there was heavy inundation of water in North Bengal for the past few days, sweet shop owners from the region had failed to turn up to take part in the hunger strike. But around 15 to 20 representatives from each of the South Bengal districts took part in the hunger strike.
On Sunday, Trinamool Congress leader, Sashi Panja, went to the dais at Rani Rashmoni Avenue where the sweet shop owners were observing hunger strike. She extended every support to them on behalf of her party. It may be mentioned that another senior leader of the party Sovan Chatterjee had also visited the dais on Friday.
Paul said that after the resolution on their next course of action is passed in September's first week meeting, sweet shop owners would go for hunger strike in their respective districts. They would also go for a three-day-long strike and would march to Delhi if nothing takes place despite agitating against the decision of the Centre.