Mumbai: As many as 50,000 wholesalers of 750 associations in Mumbai have shut to protest against the implementation of Local Body Tax (LBT) form October 1. The Maharashtra government did away with the age-old octroi and decided to introduce the LBT in the state.
A massive protest was called by the Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) on Friday, in which nearly two lakh traders marched across the streets of Mumbai to participate in the anti-LBT rally.
Reportedly, Mohan Gurani, FAM president said that the associations are absolutely against the Local Body Tax and the shops will remain shut. The action committee will meet on Sunday to decide the next course of action.
It is to be noted that the traders in the city have called a protest for the third time in this week.
Mumbai was brought to a halt on Thursday when 4,000 traders, wholesalers and retailers marched on the streets. The rally crippled traffic between Shivaji Park in Dadar and Azad Maidan as more than 200 cars and motorcycles part of a rally took the Sena Bhawan, Portuguese Church, Siddhivinayak, Century Bazar, Nehru Centre, Haji Ali, Hughes Road, Chowpatty, Marine Drive and Churchgate route.
The same day, traders observed protests in Thane, Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad against the imposition of LBT.
Traders associations’ are of the view that the implementation of Local Body Tax will be burden for both traders and consumers. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) decided to replace the age-old octroi with the Local Body Tax, however the traders want both octroi and LBT scrapped.
Wholesalers in Mumbai are irked and believe that imposing the LBT will kill their businesses. Octroi is a tax collected in cash at the time of goods entering a city, while Local Body Tax is a lump sum charged on value of goods.