GUWAHATI, March 15 - A majority of shops and business establishments in the State today remained closed in response to a shutdown call given by the All Assam Traders Association (AATA) and All Guwahati Traders Association protesting the arbitrary hike in labour licence fee.
The associations claimed that the bandh was ninety per cent in the State and total in Guwahati city. However, some shops, including pharmacies remained open at places. The shutdown was called from 5 am to 5 pm.
Today, on instructions from the government, Kamrup Metro Deputy Commissioner M Angamuthu invited the agitating traders for a discussion.
�The traders have some issues with the Shops and Business Establishment rules. They say the government has taken some suo moto decisions. We will arrange a discussion between the traders and the labour department. They have agreed to suspend the agitation,� the DC said.
The traders alleged that the previous Congress government had hiked the labour licence fee by nearly ten times and the present government too has implemented it without consulting the traders.
In a press release issued later in the day, AATA president Noren Deka said the hike is illegal and should be withdrawn immediately.
The organisation also reiterated their demand for health insurance, accident insurance, pension scheme for traders and easy availability of loans. �We have, however, suspended the agitation till the talks,� Deka said.