New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) Owners and employees of private security agencies held a silent protest here on Wednesday against the levy of 18 per cent GST on security services, a body representing them said.
Protesting near the India Gate here, they reiterated their demand to implement ‘reverse charge mechanism’ to remove “unfairness” in GST rate.
“We are not against the Goods and Services Tax, but 18 per cent rate collected by private security agencies is directly hitting security guards by taking away a major share of their wages and benefits,” said Kunwar Vikram Singh, Chairman of the Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI).
The protesters, majority of them retired armed forces officers and personnel, laid a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti before holding their silent protest.
Kunwar, a retired Army officer, said that private security industry provides jobs to more than 80 lakh persons, mostly retired personnel from armed and paramilitary forces.
Most of the security guards come from economically poor, rural background, he added.
Owner of another agency, a retired Colonel, said: “Why is the government trying to disturb this largest workforce? Most private security agencies are already closing down since we don’t have enough money to pay 18 per cent GST.”
“Any government decision resulting in the closure of even one security agency could mean unemployment for a large number of security guards.”
The CAPSI maintained that the only solution to this problem is to implement ‘reverse charge mechanism’ as done for other industries, wherein the principal employer (to whom security guards are outsourced) pay the GST on the due date and claim refund at a later date.
The association said that it will submit a memorandum on its demand to the GST Council that will meet ing on July 23.