The newly introduced Local Body Tax (LBT) is a step in the wrong direction that will lead to corruption and price rise. The Maharashtra Government’s decision to introduce the LBT will adversely affect traders and the general public.
LBT will substantially increase corruption as it puts the traders at the mercy of the local body officials, who often harass and extract more money. This high tax will not only increase corruption and paperwork but will also increase the cost of businesses. This will ultimately result in price rise.
Maharashtra government had increased VAT rates (on sales) in 2010 promising the traders that Octroi would be abolished. They collected thousands of crores in double taxes. But in 2013, the Government has gone back on its promise by introducing LBT.
LBT applies to small and big businesses alike. The traders are not against paying taxes but we are concerned about the corruption and harassment this would create. Traders across the state have been protesting against this for the last 2 weeks and the Government has so far taken no action.
Please sign this petition and tell the CM of Maharashtra to stop the implementation of LBT and stop the corruption and price rise this could create.
There has been almost a total BANDH for the past many days to protest against LBT imposed. Around 50,000 traders from all over Maharashtra gathered at Azad Maidan and meeting lasted for 2 hours under the scorching sun. But, Maharashtra government seems to have warned the media not to cover the strike.
Abolishing Octroi is a good decision, but problems with LBT are:
• Already VAT was increased in Maharashtra in 2010 but that was kept in the state treasury. In Gujarat the increased VAT was passed to the municipal corporation.
• Scrutiny of bank statements, profit-loss Account and Balance sheet and tons of other paperwork are to be submitted for annual assessment to Municipal Corporation every month. This will give undue powers to the bureaucrats.
• A businessman would end up spending a majority of the time dealing with paperwork with so many government agencies.
• Possible double taxation on traders
• Traders want to pay taxes but do not want harassment and corruption, with this Inspector-raj.
• LBT will only increase the cost of living due to these increased costs.
• Common man does not have the confidence that the increased tax would benefit the citizens.
• LBT is applicable also to tailors and paanwalas, if they are earning more than Rs 254 a day.
• Abolish Octroi
• Do NOT bring in LBT, but levy surcharge on VAT, and pass on that surcharge to the municipal bodies, similar to the Gujarat model.
Already BJP and Shiv Sena are supporting the traders. The Supreme court will hear the matter on LBT in Maharashtra on 10th May 2013, but in the meantime, this petition wishes to express solidarity with the traders for a better Maharashtra and a better tomorrow.