Pawar, Chavan meet traders on LBT; panel to be formed

An official said it has been decided to form a high-level committee headed by chief secretary, on the issue. 

"The committee, comprising traders' representatives, is expected to submit a report within a month, he said. "The panel will take into consideration suggestions from traders on the LBT legislation," he said.

Federation of Association of Maharashtra (FAM), a traders' body, had asked Pawar to intervene to resolve the imbroglio over LBT and traders' strike in various cities of Maharashtra to protest against the new tax.

Sharad Pawar
NCP chief Sharad Pawar

LBT is an account-based tax, and will be charged for every raw-material used or imported into the city limits by all businesses, traders and manufacturers. It seeks to replace octroi, which causes bottlenecks in goods flow.

It was introduced in Kolhapur, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Vasai-Virar from April 1. It was scheduled to come into effect in Mumbai from October 1 this year. However, Chavan recently informed traders that any decision would be taken after consensus and that there is no set deadline for implementing LBT in Mumbai.

Traders have been up in the arms against the new tax, fearing cumbersome account-keeping process and potential official harassment.

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