Traders threaten fast unto death against LBT

Wholesale markets,commercial establishments and retailers across the state have been closed for the past week.

Written by Express News Service | Published:May 2, 2013 1:16 am

Twelve members of Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) have threatened fast unto death from Thursday at Azad Maidan to protest local body tax (LBT).

Meanwhile,more than 50,000 members of the 750 associations that make the federation will not conduct business the next few days.

Wholesale markets,commercial establishments and retailers across the state have been closed for the past week.

More than 500 FAM volunteers will go to every nook and corner of Mumbai and hold meetings with traders to create awareness about the “evils of LBT”.

Mohan Gurnani,president of FAM who will also join the hunger strike,said,“FAM representing 750 trade associations of Maharashtra has intensified its stir against imposition of LBT and LPT (local panchayat tax). Every fifth day,11 more traders will join the fast.”

“The bandh was successful on the first day. Traders across the state supported it. No trader will register for LBT. Our fight will continue till LBT is rolled back because this is a policy detrimental to the trader community,” said Ashok Garg,president,Darukhana Iron Steel and Scrap Merchants Association.

While 24 of the 26 municipal corporations in the state have already implemented LBT,it is likely to be implemented in Mumbai and Nashik in October.

BMC plans to replace octroi with LBT but traders want both taxes scrapped.

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