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Most Maharashtra trade bodies call off stir against LBT news
21 May 2013

Most trade bodies in Maharashtra on Monday night agreed to call off their prolonged agitation protest against the Local Body Tax (LBT) after a meeting with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and chief secretary J K Banthya in Mumbai.

"Traders in Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad, Navi Mumbai and Thane have announced that they are calling off the stir, following discussions with the CM," an official spokesperson said.

The situation is still unclear in Mumbai, though, as the Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) said they had not been consulted and the city traders had been deliberately sidelined in the talks.

The FAM will take a call on further action today. But the body will not prevent shops from reopening, Zaverchand Gala of the FAM said.

''The state is deliberately sidelining us,'' said FAM vice president Arun Doshi.

Traders had been pressing for 20 changes in local body tax levy. On Monday night traders' bodies said all these changes had been "accepted" by the government.

Topping the wish-list of traders, who had launched a stir against LBT first in April and then again in May, was increasing the turnover limit from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, saying smaller traders couldn't be bothered with the hassle of voluminous paper work and maintaining accounts given the small size of their business.

The account-based LBT, which replaces octroi duty, has been levied in 25 of the 26 municipal corporations in the state since 1 April. It takes effect in Mumbai from 1 October.

An issue that was discussed at Monday's meet was appointing serving and retired sales tax officials on deputation in municipal bodies to assess the LBT as they were familiar with the taxation system­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­.

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Most Maharashtra trade bodies call off stir against LBT