Much of business activity in Greater Mumbai, the country's business hub, ground to a halt today as traders went on an indefinite strike against the Maharashtra government's recently imposed local body tax (LBT).
Those participating in the stir against the state government's latest attempt at swingeing taxation included retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers of groceries, clothing, electronics, metals and hardware, down to grain, fruit and vegetables.
Mainland Mumbai was not particularly affected, as the new tax (designed to replace the phased-out octroi duty) will come into effect there a few months hence. But the satellite towns, including Thane and Navi Mumbai, saw a major downing of shutters in protest against the new tax has already taken effect.
''The concept of LBT is self-defeating - for example, petrol now costs up to 10 per cent more in Navi Mumbai than it does in mainland Mumbai. It is easy for me to fill up in Mumbai and save money,'' said a resident of that satellite city.
Citizens of Maharashtra are keeping an eye on whether the coalition government of the Congress and the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party decides if it is time to control the state's outrageous taxation, with the state rapidly sinking as an investment destination.