Mumbai: Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) representing 750 trade associations in the state on Thursday said, it would continue with its call for indefinite trade bandh till the LBT (Local Body Tax) is removed, even as the agitation entered 18th day.
The decision on indefinite strike was taken at a meeting of traders called by FAM at Azad Maidan on Thursday. Several BJP leaders like Jaywantiben Mehta, Raj Purohit, Atul Shah and Mangalprabhat Lodha were present at the meeting and supported the traders' cause. Thursday was the 18th day of indefinite bandh by wholesalers and fifth day by retailers of Mumbai.
Now, transporters, hawkers and Mathadi Kamgar Union (labourers) have also declared their support to traders against LBT, which would result in total closure of trade in Maharashtra, FAM president Mohan Gurnani said in a statement. Gurnani announced that neither any traders would pay LBT, nor make fresh registration for LBT.
Besides, he said traders should pay only 5 per cent portion of VAT and keep 95 per cent portion of VAT in abeyance till LBT is removed.
Gurnani advised traders to continue their protest peacefully and not to indulge in activities like rail roko, which could damage the image of traders even as he criticised coercive tactics of police and administration against peaceful protest by traders.
FAM Treasurer Vinesh Mehta stated that the organisation has made arrangements for supply of sugar, wheat and rice for the people during the period of agitation.