In spite of most traders not having paid the Local Body Tax (LBT),Pune Municipal Corporation that has been facing fierce opposition for its implementation in its civic jurisdiction managed to collect Rs 36 crore for the month of April. On the last day of payment for April,around 2,000 traders paid Rs 25 crore to avoid legal action against them.
The collection of LBT for month of April began from May 1. It was initially slow due to the opposition from the traders. On the last day,however,around 2,000 traders deposited Rs 25 crore to avoid legal action. This,despite SMSes being circulated among traders by their union leaders,asking them not to pay LBT, said Vilas Kanade,who is in-charge of PMCs LBT department.
He also said that the number of traders who have registered with the PMC under the new tax regime has also gone up to 64,000. PMC has carried out a survey of the entire city to locate traders. We will compare the list with those who have registered for LBT. Notices will be issued to those whose names do not figure in the list of registered traders, Kanade said,adding,that there were about 11,000 traders who are yet to be registered.
PMC will also charge an interest of two per cent per month on those who fail to deposit LBT for April,he added.
Kanade pointed out that at the meeting held between the state government and the traders,the former had agreed to most of their demands. The traders would possibly call off the strike on Tuesday, he had said earlier in the day,quickly adding,that the decision depends on the traders meeting with the chief minister in Mumbai.
Among their several demands,one of the most important was changing a perimeter of the tax by pushing the lower limit of traders earning from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. That is,traders earning Rs 5 lakh and above need to register under LBT. They had also sought extension of the deadline for registration under LBT and payment of the tax to June 20.
Earlier,the traders had gone on an indefinite strike,demanding suspension of LBT that was introduced in place of octroi,which was abolished by the government in March. With a collection of Rs 1,400 crore a month,octroi had become the largest source of revenue for the civic body.