As the winter session of the Maharashtra State legislature has begun, traders were disappointed with the statement made by the State Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. He was posed with some questions and on the subject of LBT he reportedly indicated that these issues were still pending. His written reply stated that the proposals from Nagpur Divisional Commissioner in this regard were under consideration with the state government.
Vilas Muttemwar, Member of Parliament from Nagpur, has sent Sonia Gandhi, the president of Congress a letter asking for her intervention in the reversal of LBT. He submitted this letter in New Delhi on the 7th December 2013. This comes with the traders in the city gearing up for a bandh.
Following are the transcripts from the letter –
The State Government of Maharashtra introduced LBT on goods while abolishing Octroi from all Municipal Corporation which has strongly been opposed by the business community. The business community fears that the introduction of LBT would cause great harassment to them and render doing business in Maharashtra uncompetitive.
The Honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra assured the business community to constitute a high-power committee of representatives from government and business community to go into all issues raised against LBT including finding alternate levy to LBT. I understand that high-powered committee of government officials was constituted. Trade association then approached the Maharashtra Economic Development Council (MEDC) to study the issue & suggest efficient alternative sources of revenue in lieu of Octroi and LBT.
The MEDC after consulting the Honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra has undertaken an in-depth study and submitted its detailed final report to him. MEDC in its report has observed that certain provisions of the LBT will have an adverse effect on the overall finances of the Municipal Corporations and may tend to increase tax rates which would make trade and industry uncompetitive in Maharashtra and suggested alternate levy to finance Municipal Corporations and at the same time maintain autonomy of the corporations.
In view of the above, the trading community has sought your kind intervention in this matter in the interest of smooth functioning of trade and business in the State, particularly in the Vidarbha region. They request that the Chief Minister be asked to withdraw LBT/Octroi and to implement the MEDC report on an alternate to LBT/Octroi.