CM Prithviraj Chavan promised protesting traders Thursday local body tax (LBT) would not be enforced in Mumbai against their wishes. He also scrapped the October 1 deadline for implementing LBT. This means octroi will continue in Mumbai for the time being.
Asserting that the government had not set an October deadline,CM said,Unless state Assembly and Council agree to an amendment in the Act,LBT cannot be implemented in Mumbai.
President of Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association Viren Shah said,CM has promised not to impose LBT without our consent. Had they clarified this earlier,there would be no protest.
A joint committee of traders and government officials to discuss LBT apprehensions would be constituted soon,CM said.
The government has already set up a committee under chief secretary J K Banthia on LBT.
Chavan met a delegation of traders with Congress MLAs and MPs from Mumbai. Mumbai Regional Congress Committee chief Janardhan Chandurkar said,Traders are not opposed to LBT. They are opposed to BMC collecting the tax. They want the sales tax department or any other government agencies to collect the tax.
Shah said,Traders want the tax to be hassle-free. If sales-tax officials are entrusted with assessment and collection we have no problem.
Interestingly,members of Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) chose to stay away from the meeting initiated by Congress. They and members of other trader organisations are expected to meet CM when he holds a meeting with NCP president Sharad Pawar Friday morning.