Even after a delegation of traders from the city met government representatives on Wednesday to address their concerns regarding implementation of LBT,an amicable solution could not be worked out. Traders have sought time till Friday to announce their decision regarding their strike.
Earlier,there had been indications that the traders would withdraw the strike after the meeting. However,the Federation of Traders Association made no such announcement on Wednesday.
On Wednesday,leaders of the Federation of Trade Unions of Pune met chief secretory J K Banthia in Mumbai. Our delegation met Chief Secretory Jayant Banthia in Mumbai and explained to him the situation and our demands. He said the 10-member committee that has been entrusted with the duty of arriving at a mutually acceptable plan,will meet on Friday and announce its decision soon after. Till then,we will continue with the strike, said Ranka.
Hemant Shah,joint secretary of the federation,said,We are trying to get through to the government by means of meetings,memorandums and applications. But the adamant government is not paying any heed to our pleas. So we have no other option but to continue the strike.
The traders strike is set to continue till May 17,after which they will take a call on whether or not they will call it off the strike depending on the committees decision.
As means of countering the traders agitation,district collector Vikas Deshmukh on Wednesday directed the regulatory authorities to issue notices and take legal action,starting Thursday,against all who take part in the strike. For this,he held a high-level meeting with officials of the Food Distribution Office,Cooperative Sector,Market Committee,among others on Wednesday. The labour commissioner,market committee and FDO will issue notices and take legal action against the traders from Thursday, he said.
As per the collectors direction,the agriculture department has started contacting farmers to organise grains festival,in which farmers would get the opportunity to sell their wares directly to the consumers. Shivaji Nagar go-down is one such spot,where the grains festival can be held and I have asked the agriculture department to identify 10 to 15 similar spots in both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, he said.
He also said that adequate police security will be provided to farmers who wish to participate in the event. For further details,the farmers can also get in touch with the superintendent of agriculture.
About 700 traders,belonging to Poona Merchants Chamber,performed aarti of Ganesh at Akhil Mandai Mandal on Wednesday morning. We prayed to Ganpatil Bappa for respite from this unjust law. Local Body Tax will in the long run force us to shut shop, said Ajit Sethiya,president of Chamber.