TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Nearby, more than two dozen other workshops are locked from the outside, while dogs and cows roam through other abandoned factories. Scrap dealers enquire about idle powerlooms.
India launched the Goods and Services Tax (GST) just over a year ago, its biggest ever tax reform, aiming to replace more than a dozen federal and state levies and unify the sprawling economy.
The move improved economic efficiency but critics say the complexities of the new regime have driven many small enterprises out of business and forced hundreds of thousands out of jobs.
For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the drawbacks of the GST, especially the job losses, could prove costly in major state elections later this year and a general election in mid-2019.
Bathla says his neighbors, most of them unschooled, could not comply with monthly online filings required under the GST regime. Some of his customers and suppliers could not afford to hire accountants to navigate a system which has been amended more than 200 times already, while others struggled to cope with delays in tax returns caused by glitches in the centralized software.
"I have a GST registration, but I can't work as my vendors and buyers are unable to comply with a complex tax structure," the 50-year-old said, adding his monthly sales had fallen to about 250,000 rupees($3,511) from about one million rupees before the GST. Only two of his 10 powerlooms are currently being used.