The Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) declared a two-day strike by wholesale traders in the state on July 15 and 16 to protest the introduction of Local Body Tax (LBT).
On Wednesday, representatives from trade associations in the state had met to discuss steps to intensify the on-going agitation against the government’s ‘inflexible’ stand on LBT. The meeting was attended by representatives from 19 municipal corporations.
“There was severe criticism of the government’s stand on LBT despite attention being drawn to the corruption it may lead to and harassment of traders,” said FAM president Mohan Gurnani.
Traders only recently withdrew a month-long strike against LBT after an assurance from chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar that a joint committee would look in the matter. However, on June 12 chief secretary JK Banthia ruled out such a review, upsetting traders.
“Although the CM had promised to form a joint committee of traders and government officials to find a solution, the chief secretary chose to overrule his order,” said Gurnani.
However, retail traders are yet to take a call on joining the protest. “Even we are hurt but are still to take the decision,” said Viren Shah, president, Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA).