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Octroi return set to jack up prices of essentials

With the civic administration deciding to reintroduce octroi on essential commodities, the prices of foodgrains and sugar are expected to go up by at least 25 paise per kg.

Written by Express News Service | Pune | January 26, 2009 12:54:41 am

With the civic administration deciding to reintroduce octroi on essential commodities, the prices of foodgrains and sugar are expected to go up by at least 25 paise per kg. The traders’ association,meanwhile,has decided to intensify its agitation demanding abolition of octroi.

Rising inflation last year had forced the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to exempt essential goods from octroi for that year. However,it has now sought the approval of the standing committee for reintroducing the octroi from April 1,citing revenue losses of Rs 15 crore.

Maintaining that the revenue collection from octroi is not going to make a big difference for the PMC,Deepak Bora of Poona Merchant Chambers said: “The reintroduction of octroi on essential commodities will affect the common man. The prices of goods will go up once the octroi is levied. The PMC should continue the exemption of octroi charges on essential commodities.”

Bora said the chamber’s office-bearers will soon meet the elected representatives and officers in the PMC and seek continuance of the exemption.

Vijay Gujarati of the Sugar Traders’ Association said the civic administration’s proposal is unjustified and octroi on essential items should be abolished. A consumer already pays Rs 20-25 a kg for sugar,he said and added that his association will also demand the abolition of octroi.The civic administration has also sought the approval of the standing committee for an increase of 50 paise on the octroi of various items,including vehicles,furniture,gutka,cigarettes,paan masala,chocolate and confectionery. If the standing committee accepts the proposal,the octroi will be charged per 100 items on consumer durables and per 10 kg on food grains.

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