"Despite the fact that the trading community of the country is still an admirer of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is very impressed with his positive attitude and thinking towards the traders and small industries, yet in view of the current economic downturn and the indifferent attitude of the ministers and bureaucrats towards domestic trade, the traders across country have started getting disillusioned with the government," said the CAIT statement.
It said that after the BJP government came to power, the traders had great hope that the attitude of the government towards traders would change and the traders in the country would get better focus and ample opportunities to grow business in an easy and cohesive business atmosphere, but nothing has changed in their lives and traders remain neglected as ever before.
"In view of this situation, the CAIT has convened a meeting of its National Governing Council in Patna on 5-6 March which will be participated by prominent trade leaders across Country and will consider the current business scenario in the country and burning issues of the traders and will decide future strategy."
The traders' body expressed its displeasure with on the issued faced with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and said that problems including blockage of refunds have led to "mental torture" for traders.
"Both Bhartia and Khandelwal said that despite the efforts of government to simplify GST system, it has become very complicated to the extent that even after paying tax in time, traders are forced to pay same tax again in event of fault of a corresponding trader. Inefficiencies of the GST portal is leading to mental torture. Blockage of refunds with the department and several other contentious issues are haunting the traders but no one cares," the statement said.
B.C. Bhartia is the National President of CAIT and Praveen Khandelwal is the National Secretary General of the organisation.
CAIT also said that it has been neglected by the government despite its continuous support for government initiatives and policy decisions, including demonetisation, GST and adoption of digital payments.
"Despite apprehensions, the trading community did not leg behind in extending full support for the implementation of GST in the country. Though traders faced several problems caused by demonetisation, yet it outrightly support the government to meet the mandate of Prime Minister to clean the system from black money and created a positive atmosphere in the country but despite all such efforts, the traders remain neglected," said the statement.
It further said that though the government implemented the MUDRA scheme on suggestions from traders, but the people supposed to benefit from the scheme and needed support were not receving the benefits.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi while accepting the request of the traders, had implemented the Mudra scheme for the people who have never been funded. It is also true that lakhs of crores of rupees have been disbursed under the Mudra Yojana, but it is also a fact that the beneficiaries for whom Mudra Yojana was conceived, didn't got the loan and that is the reason why NPA is increasing in Mudra Scheme," it said.
CAIT again touched upon the point of alleged unfair practices by e-commerce majors, which it has been raising time and again.
"E-commerce giants are destroying and devastating domestic trade to a great extent and despite several strict warnings by Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, these e-giants are continuing their unethical business practices in full swing and no action is being taken," it said, adding that the FDI policy is being violated right under the nose of the government and no action has been taken so far.
Regarding losses suffered by traders and businesses in incidents of street violence, like that being witnessed in the capital, the traders' body said that there is "no foolproof security for traders and commercial markets and regular incidents occurred each day with traders in different parts of the country but traders are helpless".
It also said that in these conditions, conducting business has become the "most difficult task".
Both Bhartia and Khandelwal expressed their apprehension that the Prime Minister is probably not being given the right feedback about trade and business issues, "otherwise there is no reason that contrary to the Prime Minister's vision, the traders are being neglected".