Mumbai: Perturbed by strident opposition to imposition of Local Body Tax (LBT) in Mumbai and some municipal corporations from October 1, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Sunday asked Congress leaders to "clear misconceptions" pertaining to the levy.
"The chief minister asked state Congress leaders, including MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre and Mumbai Congress president Janardhan Chandurkar, to clear misconceptions of traders, merchants and opposition parties about LBT," Chavan was quoted as saying at a meeting on LBT by Mumbai Congress president Janardhan Chandurkar.
Chavan held the meeting of Congress leaders, office-bearers and party corporators from local civic body at his official residence 'Varsha' this evening. Resorting to tough posturing over the issue, Chavan dubbed the opposition to LBT as "an immature and political move by certain parties", Chandurkar said.
On one of the alternatives suggested by traders of including LBT in VAT by passing the required legislation, Chavan said the government cannot do so as VAT is meant for entire state whereas LBT will be applied to municipal corporations, replacing octroi, Chandurkar told PTI.
The LBT has already been introduced in some of the municipal corporations in the state while it is proposed to be introduced in Mumbai from October 1. Chavan reminded the meeting that as per the 74th Constitutional amendment, local self government bodies were granted autonomy to collect tax.
Chandurkar said that a civic act would have to be amended before LBT is implemented in Mumbai. The chief minister also said that all hawkers are excluded from the purview of LBT, Chandurkar added.
Traders under the Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) began indefinite strike demanding rollback of LBT nearly three weeks ago.