EC limit on cash transactions has traders squirming
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Several trade bodies in the state are trying to find a way out of the Election Commission rule to seize any unaccounted cash over Rs 2.5 lakh in the run up to the December polls.
While north Gujarat traders led by the spice dealers of Unjha plan to meet chief electoral officer Anita Karwal in this regard on Saturday, the Rajkot Gold Dealers' Association called a meeting on Friday under the aegis of Rajkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which was also attended by builder associations.
Meanwhile, a delegation of two businessmen from south Gujarat met a top EC official today and claimed that the Chief Election Commissioner will come to Surat on October 29 over the issue.
Merchants at Unjha — world's biggest cumin market — say that even if a farmer sells 50 sacks of cumin, he would get Rs 3 lakh and because they are not very well versed with the banking system, they prefer to carry cash with them.
Large-scale cash transactions at Rajkot Soni Bazar, which is one of the biggest in India after Mumbai, have been affected badly with this election rule. "For buying or selling gold, we deal in cash. By the time shutter gets down in the evening, when banks are closed, often dealers have to carry cash amount for the day to home. And this amount runs into several lakhs. The EC rule has crippled dealers," said Bhaya Saholia, president, Rajkot Gold Dealers Association.
Traders argue that there is no clear guideline that once seized, when can they get the cash back after showing the necessary documents. Besides, after the seizure, the EC hands the matter to the Income Tax department. "Now we get income tax survey even for small amounts like Rs 5 to 6 lakh. This is taxing a lot to the industry and market," said a dealer.
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