“An urgent solution must be found where the municipal corporation does not get the required revenue without causing hardships and inspector raj, which will only lead to further corruption,” said Kamat, who made separate representations to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and the Congress party president Sonia Gandhi.
Kamat’s move is crucial as a section of Congress believes LBT will have an adverse impact on the party’s prospects in the ensuing Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
Traders in are on an indefinite bandh, which entered the second day today.
However, Chavan is believed to have convinced the party high command that LBT's withdrawal will give a mileage to the Opposition, which will not be affordable for the party at this juncture. Further, Chavan has brought to the party high command's notice that a section of traders were agitating against LBT.
Traders are hell-bent on LBT’ total withdrawal, saying it will lead to inspector raj and will further burden them in addition to MVAT, capital value-based property tax, cess of diesel and petrol and 1 per cent rise in MVAT rates. LBT, which is an alternate to Octroi, is an account based tax collected for every raw material used or imported into the city limits by all businesses, traders and manufacturers.
Chavan has clarified that LBT, which has already been implemented in 24 municipal corporation areas in Maharashtra from April 1 except in the jurisdiction of Municipal Corporations of Greater Mumbai and Nashik, will not be withdrawn although some relaxation can be considered.
Kamat is the second senior Congress leader and after the minister of state for shipping Milind Deora had taken an initiative to organise meeting of agitating traders with Chavan last week.