The All India Unorganised Workers Congress (AIUWC) on Wednesday protested against the Narendra Modi government's demonetisation policy and demanded a special scheme to help them overcome the problems they are facing due to the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The unorganised workers demanded that they should not be made to pay GST for payments related to their work.
The protest against demonetisation was led by Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken. The protesters gathered at Vivekananda Park here from where Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had started his campaign last year.
Arbind Singh, the AIUWC Chairman, raised the demand for a special scheme for the unorganised workers.
"Ever since the announcement of demonetisation, the income of unorganised sector workers has gone down drastically -- by up to 60 per cent.
It was hurting all the more as their debit and credit mechanism with their moneylenders and wholesalers had collapsed due to the cash crunch, said Anurag Shanker, Chairman, Delhi State Unorganised Workers Congress, in a statement.
"At some places, the mafia brought in touts who were exchanging the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for vendors for a five per cent commission," he added.
The transactions of the poor with financial intermediaries -- whether moneylenders or micro-finance institutions -- had come to a standstill, Shanker said.
"Despite the Jan Dhan Yojna, banks continue to repel the poor as they never consider them worth doing business. Rebuked by formal financial institutions, those in the unorganised sector rely on moneylenders and wholesalers, not just for credit but also to secure their savings," he added.
"The Mudra loan has also reached very few. At the time of opening accounts, branch managers warn people not to come for loans," he said in the statement.
A joint protest was also observed by the Youth Congress, Mahila Congress, National Students Union of India and the Seva Dal leaders and workers outside the Youth Congress office at Raisina Road. The protest was termed "Note Bandi - Ek Sangathit Loot" (Note Ban - An Organised Loot).
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