Vijayawada, Jan 20: Lorry Owners in Krishna district are up in arms against the hike in the Value Added Tax (VAT). The transport sector, which has been already been pushed to a crisis due to the Telangana and united Andhra agitations, the hike in VAT ''would be a last nail in the business,'' they feel.Anticipating that the new year would usher in profits, many Lorry Owners have booked for new lorries. But the Government decision to raise VAT has come like a bolt from the blue.
The Lorry Owners from Krishna and Guntur districts have gathered at the Layland office at NTR Health University here on Wednesday and demanded that the Lay land dealer return their DDs, which they had paid for buying/booking trucks.The Government has raised VAT from 8 percent to 12.5 percent in a bid to collect the tax uniformly throughout the country. The cash-strapped state government has issued a GO further hiking it by 2.5 percent.Opposing the hike and life tax on small vehicles, AP Lorry Owners Association general secretary Eswara Rao said the government's decision would impose an additional burden of Rs 30, 000 on each small operator due to the hike.
He also expressed concern over the increase in challan fee from Rs 100 to Rs 2000 in some cases.Addressing a meeting on Wednesday, Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Gaddam Subbarao said the present hike would have a cascading affect on essential commodities and ultimately the common people will bear the burden. The traders are left with no alternative but to take recourse to agitation, he suggested.