The Dehu Road market on Wednesday remained shut with traders protesting against the decision of the Dehu Road Cantonment Board to privatise octroi collection. The protest comes three days after the decision of the Cantonment Board to award the work of collection of octroi to a private party.
Madan Sonigara,general secretary of Dehu Road Bazar Committee,said,We are opposing the privitisation as private parties resort to harassment to boost revenue. We have learnt that there were incidents of harassment reported at Aurangabad and these private parties also submit bogus bills to cantonments.
The decision of privatisation of octroi was taken at the cantonment board meeting on March 17 in which members unanimously approved the proposal taking a stand that revenues of the board will increase if octroi collection is outsourced. The Cantonment Board finalised the bid of a private company at Rs 21.5 crore after securitization of documents during which it was found the other company which had also taken part in the bid had not provided complete documents.
Cantonment board spokesman N M Mahajani,said,We opened only a single bid as the other did not provide its balance sheet as well as PAN card details.
The bid amount quoted by the company which has been finalised is Rs 3.5 crore more than the collections that the cantonment board makes through deployment of its own staff. The board cleared the proposal pleading that the workforce that will become available after the privatisation of octroi collection will be used for other tax collection works.
We have huge amount outstanding as property tax and water tax and we can deploy our staff for making collections, he said.
However,Sonigara said that there was no competition in awarding the work of collection of octroi.
Only two bids were received, he said. The Cantonment Board had earlier called the bids on several occasions after poor response to its national bids on privtisation.