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Opposition targets Maharashtra Finance minister in assembly

The senior BJP members points out that the DF coalition has made a poll promise for abolition of the octroi system, reports Pradip Kumar Maitra.

india Updated: Dec 11, 2006 20:52 IST

The opposition on Monday grilled the Maharashtra Finance minister Jayant Patil in the Assembly for its failure to abolish the octroi system in municipal corporations in the state.

Raising the issue during the question hour, the senior BJP member Eknath Khadse pointed out that the DF coalition had made a poll promise for abolition of the octroi system from the municipal corporations in the last state elections. However, it miserably failed to implement it that led to unrest among the traders and businessmen in the state.

‘Octroi’ is levied on entry of goods in municipal areas and has been a major source of revenue for local bodies. To allow municipal bodies to maintain their revenue flow, the government has some options. It may allow the municipal corporations to collect their own system of tax or create additional value-added tax.

“We have discussed the issue in the last cabinet meeting. However, the meeting could not come out with a concrete proposal on it,” Patil informed.

A Congress member in the House insisted that the government should table the Subodh Kumar report — recommended abolition of octroi.

Octroi has been a major deterrent for industries and trade in the state. “It’s not just the money they lose, the system has been time consuming and full of corruption,” the BJP member Raj Purohit pointed out and urged the government to abolish it immediately.

The minister promised the House that the issue would be taken up in the next cabinet meeting and a decision in this regard would be taken accordingly.

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First Published: Dec 11, 2006 20:52 IST