April 9, 2019





Vijyender Sharma

SHIMLA----In the wake of forthcoming Lok Sabha elections two principal political parties, the BJP & Congress have released their respective election manifesto. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has conducted a comparative study of both the manifestoes from the point of view of traders. The CAIT since last three months is conducting a national campaign across the Country to convert the 7 crore traders into a vote bank and cast their vote collectively to a party and play a decisive role in forthcoming elections. The CAIT has observed that in context of issues of traders, the BJP manifesto is far ahead than Congress. The CAIT has sent a National Charter of Traders to all political parties and after analysing their manifestoes will decide and issue mandate as to which party the trading community will support in the elections.


Addressing a Press Conference today at New Delhi, CAIT Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal highly regretted that Congress President Mr. Rahul Gandhi on 3rd April spoke derogatory words for the trading community by saying that for his Nyay Yojna he will snatch funds from "Chor Vyapari" . By calling traders as thief, Mr. Gandhi has insulted entire trading community of the Country which has sent gross resentment and anguish among traders of the Country. No politician in the Country has ever such a filthy word for the trading community but the words uttered by Mr. Gandhi are shameful and needs to be deeply condemned. The Congress party may pay a heavy price for it in the elections. 


Mr. Khandelwal while comparing the manifesto of both BJP & Congress said that on one side the BJP has given due importance and recognition to core issues of the business community in its manifesto whereas the Congress has kept traders limited to three issues which are illogical and can't be implemented easily.


He said that in its manifesto, the Congress has promised to replace current  GST system with a new taxation system which will have one uniform tax rate for all commodities. It has also committed to abolish E Way Bill system and has assured that traders doing new business will be free to conduct business for first three years without any permission. The big question is that the current GST system has been drafted and implemented by GST Council unanimously in which Finance Ministers of Congress ruled States were also a party and at a time when current GST is going to be a stable taxation system, any new taxation system in place of GST is not easily possible in a large federal Country like India. On the other hand India is a land of diversity and as such imposing a uniform tax on one and all irrespective of economic status will create disparities and anomalies and the weaker section will be largely affected adversely. If E way bill is abolished, how unauthorised movement of goods will be checked between two or more states. The domestic trade is governed by various Central and State Act, Rules and Regulations under which it is obligatory for a trader to obtain licence or permission in absence of which he could be penalised and prosecuted. Whether the Congress will change the Central Acts and direct the states to amend their respective Acts concerning trade. These declarations made in the Congress manifesto are lofty having no logical base.


Mr. Khandelwal said that on the other hand the BJP while recognising the yeomen services rendered by business community has taken core and basic issues of traders in its manifesto. While committing for simplification and rationalisation of GST taxation system, the party has promised to create a National Traders Welfare Board and a National Policy for Retail Trade which will align the trading community with main stream of economy as domestic trade can be conducted in the Country in a more structured way and will ensure a speedy growth. Accepting the long standing demand of the traders , the BJP has committed to give pension to traders above the age of 60 years and accidental insurance of Rs.10 lakhs to every trader registered under GST. It will be for the first time in the Country and will provide social and economic security to the traders. The BJP has also declared to issue Vyapari Credit Card on the pattern of Kisan Credit Card which will enable the traders to obtain soft loans in a speedy way. The BJP manifesto has also taken care of start ups and MSMEs. It has also committed to set up Technology Centres to upscale the skills of the traders. In nut shell, the BJP has given due place to all sections related to trade in its manifesto whereas the Congress manifesto is more like a ritual one.


Mr. Khandelwal said that undoubtedly, the BJP manifesto is much ahead than Congress in context of issues of traders. The CAIT will keep talking to BJP leadership to implement the promises at first instance when gets elected for second time whereas it will also urge the Congress leadership to give priority to issues of traders on its agenda.

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