Traders across Maharashtra have called for an indefinite state-wide bandh from April 22, against the imposition of local body tax (LBT) and local panchayat tax (LPT).
“We have called for an indefinite trade bandh and all wholesale and semi-wholesale markets will remain closed in Maharashtra from April 22 against LBT and LPT,” Federation Association of Maharashtra (FAM) President Mohan Gurnani told PTI.
The Maharashtra government had imposed LBT in lieu of octroi from April 1 this year across the state and from October 1 in Mumbai city following which there is strong opposition to it among the trading community in the state.
The LBT came into effect from April 1 in Kolhapur, Sholapur and Vasai-Virar municipal areas.
Traders in these areas are forced to get registration numbers and were served with a three-day notice to pay LBT on monthly turnover of sales of goods in local areas along with interest and late fee.
Traders said they were also threatened with penal action including two years’ imprisonment if they failed to pay the dues, Gurnani said.
“Traders are ready to pay legitimate taxes but we do not want additional taxation departments. We demand that the Gujarat taxation model be adopted,” Gurnani said. The Gujarat government had increased VAT from 4% to 5% and abolished octroi.