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Traders across the state down shutters in protest

Traders across the state down shutters in protest

Thiruvananthapuram: Retail trading in the state came to a halt Wednesday as shop owners across the state downed shutters in protest against the Congress-led UDF government's "negative approach" towards their grievances.

Retail shops, including provision stores, stationeries and textile shops, remained closed for the day in response to the one-day shut-down called by the Kerala Vypari Vyvasayi Ekopana Samiti (KVVES), the state's largest outfit of retailers.

Hundreds of traders drawn from all parts of the state converged here, the state capital, as part of the agitation and took out a secretariat march highlighting their demands.

They alleged that the government had turned a deaf ear to their repeated demands to end harassment by officials by conducting tax raids on shops on flimsy grounds.

Samiti president T Nasiruddin said the government did not even bother to hold a talk on the memorandum submitted by the outfit.

Other demands included withdrawal of two per cent Turn Over Tax on sale of textile goods and talks with the traders' representatives on the proposed amendments to the rent rules.

Samiti leaders claimed the response to the protest call was "spontaneous and total."

Medical stores and hotels had been exempted from the shutdown and the towns close to Sabarimala exempted to spare pilgrims from facing difficulties.

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