The domestic traders’ body, The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has asked the 7 crore traders of the country to vote for BJP. The traders would also start ‘whisper campaign’ to their customers to do the same. “The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), apex body of business community representing 7 crore traders through more than 40,000 trade associations and federations across the country, after closely analysing the manifesto of parties and keeping in view the future of the country, has taken a decision to support BJP & NDA allies in the Lok Sabha election,” said CAIT.
The traders are very organized and hold significant influence in urban areas. The appeal of CAIT would help BJP and in the ongoing general election. CAIT is a very nationalistic body and takes action and gives an opinion on every issue of national interest. Earlier after Pulwama attack, CAIT paid homage and tribute to those martyred and called for a Bharat Trade Bandh and also called for boycotting Chinese goods.
Previously, CAIT had criticized Rahul Gandhi for his sweeping remarks on GST. The Congress president criticized GST for the multiple tax slabs but the CAIT is happy with it and willing to adopt the indirect tax reforms in a cohesive manner. “We have come across one of your statements made yesterday (Tuesday) at a rally that traders are suffering from GST and if you come to power, you will abolish ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’ as called by you for GST. As a representative body of business community of the country, we highly object your statement which is highly deplorable and far from facts and is being seen as an attempt by you to score points on shoulders of traders,” said CAIT National Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal in a letter to the Congress president.
There is no denying that in initial months, traders faced problems because the new indirect tax code was a great leap forward from the old system. But the government designed the Goods and Services Tax as feedback based system and GST Council takes the decision in every meeting on the basis of feedback received from trading and industry bodies. The steps taken by GST Council in the last one and a half year improved and simplified the system to a great extent and this was also evident from the CAIT statement. The inspector raj and the burden of paperwork ended with the implementation of GST.
The traders were not happy with BJP in the initial days of demonetization and GST implementation. The two back to back steps of such a large scale coupled with slowdown in lending by banks hurt the small business. But the government took corrective measures and MSME has grown in double digits in the last two years and the GST process has been made simpler. The CAIT backing makes it clear that the traders are back in the fold of BJP and this would help the party in the 2019 general election.