New Delhi: External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Friday (February 26) said that governments should support the businesses in their countries, specifically the MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises).

Speaking at the Asia Economic Dialogue 2021, Jaishankar said, “People expect today the government to bat for them. It is not just the business of Indian diplomacy to do business, it is the business of the government to support businesses.” 

“Every government in the world does that, we in India haven’t done that enough and I think that is changing. This realisation is very sharp in India,” he added.

These statements by the EAM came on the same day, when 40,000 trade associations across the country will observe the ‘Bharat Vyapar Bandh’ to protest against some of the “draconian, arbitrary and critical” amendments made recently in GST rules. 

All commercial markets in the country will remain closed on Friday in view of the Bharat Bandh called by the Indian traders’ bodies in protest against GST, fuel price hike, E-Way Bill. 

This years’ Asia Economic Dialogue is being jointly convened by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Pune International Centre (PIC). This years’ theme is ‘Post Covid-19 Global Trade and Finance Dynamics’ and the event witnessed high-level international participation.

“We need to stand up for our business and that doesn’t mean just big business, it means MSMEs,” the EAM added.

After the meeting, Jaishankar said in a tweet, “Pleasure to participate at the Asia Economic Dialogue. Always good to talk with my colleague Marise Payne. Thank MEA and Pune International Centre for organising the engaging conversation on ‘Resilient Global Growth in a Post-Pandemic World’. 

Meanwhile, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in a release that the traders will stage protests at over 1,500 places across the country on Friday, demanding the GST Council, Centre and State governments to keep on hold the draconian provisions of GST.

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