VAT bandh evokes mixed response

DQW Bureau
11 Apr 2005


A statewide bandh was called for in Maharashtra on April 6 to protest against

the imple-mentation of Value Added Tax (VAT). This was the second time a bandh

was called for VAT in the past 10 days.

Partners are still unclear about the implementation details of VAT and how it

will affect their business. This has given rise to confusion about the new

billing format and calculation of product prices.

However, bandh is no solution and the partners know that. Even though they

are not happy with the VAT roll out, they are even less pleased with the

constant bandhs called by various political parties. "I could only do about

7-10 percent of the business compared to what we do on a regular working day.

This is because my suppliers were shut today," said Rahul Zaveri,

Proprietor, Apex Enterprises. This has adversely impacted his entire supply



Ditto was the case with Ashwin Kukreja of RealTime Computers. Not only this

bandh resulted in business loss but a mob come over to his outlet and forced him

to close shop. "Bandhs like this are futile," he said. There are

others who feel the same way. Bharat Mehta, Partner at Challenger Technologies

believes that instead of downing shutters, talking to higher authorities may

have been more fruitful.

However, the bandh has its supporters as well. Manish Jain of Microlink

justified the bandh saying there are a number of related issues that need to be

sorted out. Because of these problems the company has not yet begun billing in

the current fiscal. "A bandh is important to attract attention to the

issue," he said.

And the trade association has been of little help in the issue. Zaveri of

Apex elaborated that the Trade Association of IT (TAIT) has not given out any

circular stating a particular set of guidelines to be followed. The confusion in

VAT implementation continues to reign. Now, there is a talk of observing an

indefinite bandh from April 10.

Amishi Shah