MAHARASHTRA Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has decided to adopt Gandhigiri to pacify traders protesting against implementation of local body tax (LBT) in the state. MPCC spokesperson Sachin Sawant said,From Tuesday,Congress workers will visit shopkeepers across the state,hand over roses and pamphlets explaining the significance of LBT. The state Congress decided to launch the campaign after a meeting with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan Sunday. The pamphlets will list 20 salient features of LBT,explaining why it is better than octroi.
The Congress wants to rubbish BJPs demand of imposing of Value Added Tax (VAT) along with surcharge instead of LBT. Sawant said,BJP had opposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the Centre. The party questioned the autonomy of the states in revenue collection. Why are they opposing LBT,which accords autonomy to municipal corporations?
Congress sources said its MLAs/MPs had apprehensions over LBT,which should be explained in the right context. The foremost message should be that LBT would be paid based on assessment of goods and registers maintained to keep records of taxpayers,they said. LBT would help traders in fighting extortionists who during octroi regime demanded money without evaluation of goods,they added.
The MPCC initiative,however,has not pleased alliance partner NCP. Senior NCP leaders said the state government was still not taking senior Cabinet ministers in confidence to deal with the traders and was leaving negotiations to bureaucrats. NCP spokesperson Nawab Mullik said,We have urged the CM to convene a Congress-NCP meet to discuss LBT.
However,till late Monday evening,both Congress and NCP were blaming each other for delaying the coordination committee meeting.
NCP general secretary said,The initiative should come from the CM. A Congress leader countered,Chavan had given his consent for the coordination meet last week. NCP was delaying it as Union Minister for Heavy Industries Praful Patel was busy with his scheduled appointments in Delhi.