Citing an octroi revenue loss of Rs 250 crore in the past 25 days,BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte appealed to traders Thursday to withdraw the strike against LBT.
He reiterated the corporation was open to discussion on framing guidelines for the tax.
Average daily octroi collection of BMC is Rs 12 crore. However,since the protests began the collection has dropped to Rs 2.5 crore, Kunte said.
This shutdown is also badly affecting households. There is still time for the tax to be implemented and we are willing to hear out traders in framing LBT rules. There is no need to shut shops, he said.
Kunte clarified BMC no longer had a say in drafting an amendment to Mumbai Municipal Act of 1886 for inclusion of LBT. He said the matter was now in the hands of the state government. The resolution to substitute octroi with LBT was adopted in 2010. It is the state legistature,however,which will discuss and include provisions pertaining to LBT in MMC Act. Tax rates will be decided and approved by BMC.
BMCemphasized revenue neutrality will be maintained while imposing LBT.
Inflation has a different economics to it,that does not happen because of imposition of a new tax. Based on an analysis of our octroi revenue we have created the LBT system. The amount of LBT traders will pay will not be more than octroi, said Kunte.
Mayor slams state
Mayor Sunil Prabhu slammed Thursday a state plan to share with civic bodies revenue generated by levying 1 per cent VAT surcharge on goods. He said at a mayors council meeting the revenue should be reserved for local bodies. The council adopted a resolution to implement LBT only if civic coffers were improved by replacement of octroi.