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CMDA supports movement against LBT

CMDA informed us that it has pledged its complete and unconditional support to the Federation of Associations in its fight towards the abolition of the new Local Body Tax (LBT)

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Prasanth
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Pune-based Computer and Media Dealers Association (CMDA) informed us that it has pledged its complete and unconditional support to the Federation of Associations in its fight towards the abolition of the new Local Body Tax (LBT). They have a issued a circular, a copy of which is now with The DQ Week.

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Deepak Agarwal, secretary, CMDA, "All members of CMDA have shut their shops from the 1st of April 2013 and have actively participated in the various protest marches organized by the Federation. CMDA has resolved not to concede to hollow assurances from the government and shall withdraw the strike only after the changes are made in the law accordingly."

Agarwal said, "We wish the movement a great success and hope the government sees our problems in proper light."

The translated version of the circular issued by CMDA is mentioned below.

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All knowledgeable citizens must keep one thing in mind: our businessman friend may be doing business in a few products but for other products he too like the majority of other common people is a consumer only. With this letter, we are appealing to all citizens that they get their facts right about the LBT act, which harasses and economically cripples the average common man.

By following the global trend, octroi has been abolished from the rest of India completely. In India, Maharashtra is the only state where the practice of levying octroi still continues. According to the international trade agreement rules of GATT, henceforth there will be only one tax, namely the GST, to be applied within the next two years. Although at the heart of the GST lies a firm principle that octroi should be abolished completely, sidestepping this principle by giving a name such as LBT is nothing but an attempt to misguide the government and businessmen, thus leading to a scenario in which Inspector-raj will be indirectly brought back. The central government has given clear directions to the state government and local institutions to get rid of the widely prevalent octroi tax. Now the question is whether this new import tax meant to replace octroi, namely the LBT, will be cancelled once GST is implemented? In this matter, the state government is sitting with sealed lips.

The state government should run local institutions through the means of VAT and other such prevalent sources of income, other octroi-like taxes should be abolished completely else the central government's aid in the form of the JNNURM development funds will not be made available. Such clear instructions have been given to the state government. But our municipal corporation has thrown sand in the eyes of the central government by not only continuing the practice of raising octroi but also by simultaneously making attempts to get central government's aid by putting all load onto the common people by means of the new LBT tax. And businessmen have been made as puppets in the show.

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At present, along with income tax, we pay service tax, excise, professional tax, VAT, octroi and other such taxes. In 2005 the state government had levied VAT. At that time, the then finance minister Jayant Patil had announced that in the next 3 years, i.e. till 2008, octroi will be completely done away with throughout Maharashtra. At that time the state government had brought VAT to replace sales tax. At that time the state government, by means of sales tax, was earning approx. Rupees 15000 crore in income. Today, by means of VAT the income generated is approx. Rupees 60000 crores. But still the state government has not kept it's promise and is now pretending to abolish octroi by introducing LBT, i.e. local body tax under a new name. Even stricter (compared to octroi) terms and conditions with more severe consequences of violation have been put in LBT. The responsibility of raising LBT on behalf of the government has been completely thrown on the shoulders of the businessmen fraternity, If businessmen keep trying to comply with the conditions of raising LBT on behalf of the government, it will become very difficult for them to do business itself.

In India there is no such LBT levied in any other state but still those states' administrative machinery is running smoothly. Given that, does the Maharashtra state government have any obligation to introduce this harassing tax in a state which leads India in a majority of areas? Is it necessary to economically harass the common man in this manner? Now the time has come for all citizens to arise, awake and be alert... Accordingly, all knowledgeable citizens please keep in mind that LBT is not just a matter of doing business but the fact is the money raised through this is going to be spent from the pockets of all consumers only, thus leading to crippling inflation directly affecting us. So, it is necessary that all citizens should raise their voice in this matter.

BAN..... BAN....... BAN.......

One alert citizen.

All citizens should write `No LBT` or raise a black flag outside their homes to express their protest.

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The original circular 

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