Traders to oppose local bodies tax in Supreme Court

Mumbai, April 1 (IANS) The controversial Local Bodies Tax (LBT) replacing the traditional octroi in various cities in the state will now be contested in the Supreme Court.

The Municipal Mazdoor Union (MMU) has decided to move the apex court by Wednesday seeking rollback of LBT and continuing with octroi.

“We are hoping for a hearing in the apex court by Thursday or Friday,” MMU President Sharad Rao told mediapersons here Monday.

Traders in the Navi Mumbai wholesale markets and employees of other municipal corporations observed a day’s strike against the LBT.

Opposing the LBT structure replacing octroi, announced by the Maharashtra government in 2012, most trade organisations argue that there is no need to levy LBT since VAT already exists.

Introducing the LBT regime, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said last week that this would considerably ease traffic movement at various check-posts on the cities’ borders.

He said that at least 20 civic bodies in the state have already implemented LBT and it has been found as working smoothly.

Officials said that LBT is a tax traders would have to pay on goods they bring to the city for trading purposes.

Under LBT, the traders, manufacturers or owners of goods are required to pay up a lumpsum amount within a specified period, designed to curb massive corrupt practices associated with octroi collection.

The LBT regime came into effect in municipalities of Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Kolhapur and Nagpur.

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