Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that his government is committed to fulfilling its election promise of scrapping the Local Body Tax (LBT) and would soon make an announcement about it.
Fadnavis said in the Assembly on Monday that scrapping LBT would not be linked with introduction of goods and services tax (GST) as proposed by the Union government. “We will not wait for the GST to scrap the LBT. We are working on an alternative tax proposal. The government will announce the abolition of LBT soon,” he said. Earlier, the Opposition had grilled the government for not keeping its election promise of scrapping LBT and making the state toll-free.
Attacking the government, senior NCP member Chhagan Bhujbal said that the BJP-led government was cheating people by not fulfilling its election promises. “You [BJP-Sena] had defined the LBT as ‘lootoo batoo’ tax and promised to scrap it. Then why you are not removing road tolls from the state?” he said. “I spoke to Union finance minister Arun Jaitley about the proposed GST and urged him to ensure the interests of the state and financial independence while introducing the new tax system,” he said.
The chief minister said his government has taken a bold step to decentralise power in every department for smooth functioning. “Now, we don’t need to go to the Mantralaya each time for permission and licences. For example, the regional officer of industry will be authorised to hand out a licence required for setting-up an industry,” he said.
Scrapping toll plazas a viable option?
The state has appointed the PC Joshi committee to check if the proposal to scrap toll plazas is viable. Eknath Shinde, cabinet minister for MSRDC, said the committee would submit its report in two months.