50,000 wholesalers shut shop to protest local body taxhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/50-000-wholesalers-shut-shop-to-protest-local-body-tax/

50,000 wholesalers shut shop to protest local body tax

Around 750 associations of wholesalers in the state with 50,000 members have shut shop to protest imposition of local body tax (LTB) from October 1.

Around 750 associations of wholesalers in the state with 50,000 members have shut shop to protest imposition of local body tax (LTB) from October 1.

Federation of Associations of Maharasthra (FAM) members from Mumbai,Pune,Pimpri-Chinchwad,Nagpur,Kolhapur,Solapur,Thane and other parts of the state marched to Azad Maidan in Mumbai Friday.

“Most of these 50,000-odd traders have shut wholesale operations. The association and its members are completely against LBT and all shops will remain shut. The association action committee will meet again Sunday to decide the next course of action,” said Mohan Gurnani,FAM president.

This is the third time this week traders in the state have shut shop against LBT.

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In another show of strength Monday,around 17,000 traders had gathered at Azad Maidan. BMC plans to replace octroi with LBT from October. However,traders want both octroi and LBT scrapped.

While octroi is a tax collected in cash at the time of goods entering a city,LBT is a lump sum charged on value of goods.

“LBT is an additional burden on small retailers and wholesalers. Why is the government stressing on a tax that is not levied in most other major states? Increased burden of taxation will kill business,” said a wholesaler.

Traders argue LBT will eventually lead to increased costs for the consumer. There was strict bandobast all over south Mumbai Friday,with 200 cops guarding Azad Maidan.

“Protestors had initially planned to hold a rally from Carnac Bunder to Azad Maidan,but called it off,” said senior inspector Deepak Dhole,Azad Maidan police station.

Senior inspector P B Khabde,Colaba traffic chowky,said traffic movement was not affected due to the protest.

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