The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) urged the Central Government to bring about reforms in the Goods and Services Tax to protect micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The CITU passed a series of resolutions demanding several changes in the GST at the Coimbatore District Industry Protection Conference it held here on Friday.
MSMEs were the worst affected because of GST, a resolution said and sought tax exemption for those units that produced goods up to 2 crore a year. It sought complete exemption from tax for units engaged in job work.
Coimbatore MP P.R. Natarajan, who read out the resolutions, called for online payment of refund, alleging that MSME owners were forced to bribe officials for refund.
Pointing out that industrialists were forced to submit tax papers and pay tax within 10 days of receiving money for the goods sold, he wanted the time-frame to be increased to 90 days.
Mr. Natarajan said that if the Centre and the State Government did not bring about changes in GST and help industries, there would be a strike on December 13 in Coimbatore.
CITU State president A. Soundararajan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were claiming to be nationalists, but they were not. What kind of nationalists are they who cannot protect domestic industries. They are fake nationalists.
CPI(M) Polit Bureau Member and former State secretary G. Ramakrishnan said that for the trade union, protection of industries was as important as protection of labour rights.
Industrialist Mahendra Ramdass said though the industry had wanted GST, it had never imagined that it would be introduced in this form.
He also said that one of the reasons for the slump in economy was excess production.
He suggested that MSMEs embraced technology to brave through the difficulty times.