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Local body tax issue: After assurance from Maharashtra Govt, Pune traders end strike

Pune Traders in Pune, who were on strike for the last six days protesting imposition of new local body tax, today called off their stir after the Maharashtra government assured of amicable solution to the issue.

The traders will now hold meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in Mumbai on Monday to discuss the issue. Shops and business establishments were shut in Pune and neighbouring Pimpri-Chinchwad, which were shut for nearly a week will open tomorrow.

The traders have, however, warned if no favourable decision is taken by the Chief Minister, they will again go on strike.

The Maharashtra government had last year announced introduction of Local Bodies Tax or LBT in various cities which will abolish octroi. Under LBT, the traders, manufacturers or owners of goods are required to pay up a lump sum amount within a specified period, designed to curb massive corrupt practices associated with octroi collection.

The LBT regime came into effect this fiscal (April 1) in municipalities of Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Kolhapur and Nagpur.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said last month that this would considerably ease traffic movement at various check-posts. He also said that at least 20 civic bodies in the state have already implemented LBT and it has been found as working smoothly.

The move, however, irked traders who said there is no need to levy LBT since Value Added Tax or VAT already exists and the proposed general sales tax (GST) will cover all local levies.


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