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Call for Bharat Bandh evokes mixed response in States
Shops were closed and trucks were off the roads in Opposition-ruled States in response to the Bharat Bandh called by traders and transporters to protest fuel price hike and GST.

NEW DELHI, Feb 26: The Bharat bandh called by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA), the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) and others on Friday to protest against fuel price rise, e-way bill and the new GST rules evoked mixed response.

Markets and transport services remained shut in several States like Bengal and Odisha, the bandh had little impact in the national Capital. Commercial establishments across Odisha remained shut.

Roads were blocked and markets remained closed in Punjab and Haryana. The bandh call had some impact in States like Maharashtra and Bihar. The shutdown was supported by most of the Opposition parties and trade unions.

Essential services like medical shops and vegetable markets were exempted and remained open. Government offices and services of banks were open.

Over eight crore traders from some 40,000 business organisations joined the strike by keeping their establishments closed. Lakhs of trucks also stayed off the roads.

The CAIT is demanding a review of the Goods and Services Tax regime, provisions of which traders claim are “complicated”, “regressive” and “draconian” while the transport industry is concerned over issues of "un-practicable E-Way bill under GST and unviable pricing policy of diesel."

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