The BJP-led state government has assured traders that both the octroi and the local body tax (LBT) will soon be abolished.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will hold a meeting with civic heads on Thursday to discuss the matter. “The state is committed to abolish both LBT and octroi. For this, we are studying ways to implement an alternative system so that our finances are not affected and technical issues, too, don’t come up,” said Fadnavis.
He was addressing a delegation of the Federation of Merchants (FAM), which had spear-headed the drive against LBT last year. The federation had described LBT as a tool that would be used to harass traders. While wholesalers downed shutters for a month, the retailers protested for a week.
“Fadnavis has assured us he would abolish both the systems. We have never refused to pay taxes, but all we want is a transparent system,” said Mohan Gurnani, president, FAM.
While under the LBT, money has to be paid by traders or manufacturers within a specified period of time after the goods are brought inside the city, octroi is collected whenever goods enter the city.
While the Congress government, led by then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, was adamant on introducing LBT, the BJP, then in the Opposition, was against the tax system.