Civic staff threaten strike in January
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Employees of BMC who are part of the Municipal Mazdoor Union have threatened to go on a 72-hour strike starting January 16 to protest the impending implementation of a local body tax. The strike will bring to a halt all civic services such as public healthcare, garbage collection and water supply.
Earlier this year, the state decided to scrap octroi by the end of this fiscal in lieu of an accounts-based LBT.
"With the implementation of the local body tax on municipalities, BMC will face huge losses. Traders are also in opposition as they will have to bear the burden of additional tax. The local body tax is in place in Aurangabad and the corporation is already facing losses," said Sharad Rao, leader of the union.
Rao alleged that the policy has been crafted by the government to serve the rich. Industry bodies have been demanding scrapping of octroi that allegedly lacks transparency and affects movement of goods.
The government has already replaced it with LBT in many cities, but not in key cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad.
Since the notification, corporators from various councils such as Nashik, Kolhapur, Kalyan-Dombivali, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi and Thane have moved the Bombay High Court.
In the case of Nashik Municipal Corporation, the Bombay High Court granted a stay in August on the LBT implementation.
Octroi vs LBT
Octroi is a percentage tax levied on the entry of goods into the city, while LBT is a lump sum amount charged on the value of the goods. While octroi is collected in cash on a daily basis, traders, manufacturers, owners of the goods can pay LBT within 40 days of bringing goods into the city. There ill be no need to employ contractors for tax collection.
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