New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: A nationwide Bharat Bandh has been called on Friday by The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and The All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA) in protest against the rising petrol and diesel prices, simplification of goods and service tax (GST) and the contentious E-way law.

The protesters have said that all commercial shops, excluding those engaged in essential services, will remain shut on Friday as a part of the 'Bharat Vyapar Bandh'. The protesters have claimed that nearly 40,000 trade organisations have supported the bandh that will be held from 6 am to 8 pm on Friday.

Here are the highlights of the day:

12:31 pm: The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), farmer group protesting against farm laws, have also backed the Bharat Bandh today.

11:38 am: However, the Federation of All India Vyapar Mandal (FAIVM), which represents traders and retailers, stated that it has not extended support to the Bandh.

FAIVM National General Secretary V K Bansal has said that it is not in favour of shutting shops in support of some of its demands, although FAIVM accepts and recognises that GST has deviated from its original objective in the past 43 months.

11:15 am: Also Read -- Bharat Bandh: Nationwide shutdown today over fuel price hike, GST and E-Way Bill | All you need to know

10:32 am: Farmers stand in favor of the traders' unions and transporters who have called for 'Bharat Bandh' today against upsurging fuel price and GST. A call for the government to revise the unjust amendments, says Kisan Ekta Morcha.

10:31 am: In Maharashtra, the Bombay Goods Transport Association (BGTA) has said that over 10 lakh truckers will join the protests today.

10:30 am: Visual of bandh from West Bengal's Birbhum.

10:00 am: Also Read -- Bharat Bandh: Nationwide shutdown over GST, fuel price hike today | What will remain closed and what will stay open

9:30 am: 

9:20 am: "AITWA demands abolishing the E-way bill as the newly introduced E-invoice is good enough for preventing tax evasion. Vehicles may be tracked by the Government using FASTag connectivity to E-invoice," says AITWA National President Mahendra Arya.

9:15 am: The protesters also want the government to scrap the the provisions of the new E-way law or at least remove some of its provisions.

9:10 am: "Illogical and huge penalties on small error, threat of cancellation of GST registration, not giving opportunity to rectify error in GSTR (GST return) are some of the trouble-making provisions," Federation of All India Vyapar Mandal (FAIVM) National General Secretary V K Bansal says.

9:05 am: The protesters want the government to review the provisions of the GST and simplify the tax system in India. They claim that GST is one of the "most complex taxation systems"

9:00 am: The Bharat Bandh protest will continue till 8 pm today and several services will be affected.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma