The one-day statewide bandh to protest against the implementation of the value-added tax (VAT) in Goa met with a mixed response from the IT industry. The bandh was, however, complete in other sectors.

The traders in Goa are demanding reduction of the tax from the present 12.5 percent to 2-4 percent on basic items. But confusion reigns in the IT market over the tax rates.

Dhiren Mehta, president, Goa Association, said, “The market is not fully operational, but some offices are open. While offices on the ground floor are mostly shut, those on the first and second floors remained open. Various regions in Goa have reacted differently to the bandh. Panjim, for example, is completely shut with only a few offices remaining open.”

He added, “We are not clear about the VAT rates on various products; some products come in the 12 percent category, while some under the 4 percent. We are also very confused as we have not been informed about the same. As a result sales have gone down, and people don t know how to calculate the new tax.”

In places like Margaon, it is business as usual in the IT market with only a few shops shutting down, fearing damage from the protestors.

Shrivallabh Sardesai, Comtech Systems, said, “The IT industry is not completely observing the bandh, as we fall under the 4 percent category. We were earlier also under the 4 percent category.”

After VAT implementation, the sales have been a bit slow because people don’t have a clear picture of the tax, Sardesai agreed. “But soon the confusion will be cleared and the market shall be in full flow,” he added confidently.