Wholesalers to continue strike against local body tax

Wholesalers to continue strike against local body tax
Mumbai Wholesalers in the city would continue to observe bandh against the local body tax (LBT) even as associations representing retailers called off their strike on Saturday.

"Despite a section of the retailers calling off the strike, wholesalers' strike against LBT will continue,"
Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) President Mohan Gurnani said in a statement in Mumbai.

The Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association, led by Viren Shah, had announced withdrawing the strike on Saturday.

The nearly three-week long strike has resulted in a loss of about Rs 1,00,000 crore, Gurnani said.

FAM has clarified that it was neither opposed to paying tax, nor maintaining books of accounts but it has objected to the proposed introduction of the new levy as it is likely to result in harassment and corruption.

The LBT has already been introduced in some of the municipal corporations in the state while it is proposed to be introduced in Mumbai from October 1.

Meanwhile, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) which had welcomed the introduction of LBT in place of octroi has called for simplification of the compliance process.

The apex body has recommended that the compliance and administration mechanism should be visited by an expert committee comprising all stake holders to make compliance mechanism more manageable for both the municipal corporations as well as industry, FICCI said in a statement in Mumbai.

The Maharashtra government has constituted a 15 member committee to address the issues raised by the traders.

FAM has pointed out that though, LBT is to be paid only by those who bring taxable goods from other cities, the registration is required to be taken by all others like vegetable and milk vendors, paan shops, commission agents, brokers, auctioneers, society, club and associations of persons who never bring any goods from other cities.

FAM has also suggested the government to include LBT in VAT by passing the required legislation.

For the purpose of GST, the Central Government amended the Constitution, than why not for the purpose of LBT, Gurnani asked.

Story First Published: May 12, 2013 21:37 IST

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