Book publishers and private book dealers have also joined the fight against Local Body Tax (LBT), after learning that LBT will be imposed on all educational textbooks, with only the exception of government published textbooks. The traders went on an indefinite strike by stopping supply to wholesalers and distributors yesterday.
Zoher Yusuf Golwala, owner of Saifee book depot, South Mumbai, said, “It’s not fair that there won’t be LBT levied on books published by the government but on other books like workbooks by private publishers and even religious books.”
K Varadraj, treasurer of Bombay Booksellers and Publishers Association, said, “It is very upsetting that the tax which was not there on educational books is being implemented now.”
According to a regulation passed in 2004, during the tenure of then CM Vilasrao Deshmukh, no octroi would be applicable on schoolbooks and reference books.
“We are being fooled by the authorities. Octroi is not applicable on us. Still some municipal authorities have started charging us,” said another publisher.
Book dealers have also decided to pull back the 10-12 per cent discount that they used to give to retail booksellers.
Jayant Jain, president, All India Federation of Parent Teachers Association, said, “All parents will get affected if LBT comes disrupts the availability of books.”