CM criticises traders for LBT stir, cagey on deputy's crass comment

Apr 12, 2013, 06:07 IST | A Correspondent

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan yesterday appealed traders not to protest against implementation of Local Body Tax (LBT) in PMC areas.

Shopkeepers in the city have declared that they will restart their agitation from April 15 to oppose the new tariff, including shutting shops until the government gives in.

“I’ve already interacted with trade unions and the govt has accepted the demand to change the Rs 1 lakh turnover slab for registering businesses under LBT,” said Chavan. However, he refused to give details of what the alteration will be. “The legislature is in session and we will soon make an announcement,” he clarified. 

‘Read my lips’:  CM Prithviraj Chavan was in Pune to inaugurate Marathi-translated edition of the book ‘The TCS Story and Beyond’, written by S Ramadorai, V-C of Tata Consultancy Services. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

Meanwhile, Chavan slammed traders, saying they have no right to harass consumers by shutting shops for indefinite periods.  “There are many misapprehensions in the business community about LBT and its implementation. Through LBT, the government is ultimately collecting tax from consumers, with the traders as a channel. It will not affect their businesses,” he added. 

Chavan, who was in the city for a book launch, was less outspoken in fielding questions related to recent derogatory remarks by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, and subsequent demand of opposition parties for his resignation. “Pawar has already presented his apology in the state assembly, and I have also interacted with opposition over the issue,” the CM said.

When asked if recent incidents of gaffes by netas has sullied the state’s image, Chavan said, “We’ve taken strict action against the MLAs found guilty of hitting a cop, and the deputy CM has already admitted that the statement was the biggest mistake of his political career.”  

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