A delegation of Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industries and Trade (CAMIT) led by its president Dipen Agrawal and chairman Mohan Gurnani met State finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and submitted a memorandum on various issues and challenges faced by trade and industries of Maharashtra.
Dipen Agrawal thanked Mungantiwar and government for abolishing LBT with effect from August 2015 and announcing an Amnesty scheme for assesses to discharge their LBT. He submitted that many local bodies are harassing businessmen in the pretext of LBT assessments and using it as a tool for corruption and extortion.
The department in routine are passing ex-party (best judgment) orders raising inflated and fictitious tax demands and using them to justify continuance of LBT Department. Records from LBT Appellate Authority will evidence the correctness of our statement. The delegation demanded immediate closure of LBT department with immediate effect.
Mungantiwar told the delegation that he also has received similar complaints from various cities and assured them to take up this issue with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and resolve it at the earliest.
Agrawal urged the State finance minister to abolishing Maharashtra Agriculture Produce Marketing (Development and Regulation) Act, 1963 (APMC Act). “The APMC Act was enacted to protect the interest of farmers and to protect them from being exploited by unscrupulous traders in traditional mandis. The farmer and the trader both needs maximum realisation for their produce.
Now a days farmers directly sell their produce to business establishments outside AMPC market for better realisation. Hence the very motive of APMC has been defeated. The market committees have become breeding ground for corruption. The cess levied at multiple points on single commodity increases the cost of commodities for common man, he said.
Mohan Gurnani also demanded complete abolishment of APMC Act in the larger interest of farmers and traders.
The delegation also raised the issue of exorbitant increase in rent by Municipal Corporations. CAMIT pointed out that most of the civic bodies in the State, including Nagpur, has unilaterally revised the rent of corporation owned shops/ottas ranging from 100 to 1000 times and in some cases more than 1000 times.
On failure to concede this unilateral decision, authorities are threatening to dispossess the tenements, thereby adversely affecting the livelihood of many small and marginal traders and numerous self-employed (the only) bread earner of his family. Gurnani and Raju Rathi, senior vice president CAMIT while highlighting the plight of tenants urged Mungantiwar to review and rationalise the unilateral exorbitant increase in rent by Municipal Corporations to an acceptable level.
Mungantiwar also suggested if the tenants are ready to purchase these small shops / ottas than he should be informed so that a policy can be framed to ensure that traders continue their business without fear of increase in rent.
Nikunj Turakhia, general secretary of CAMIT, Saurabh Shah, treasurer, Mitesh Prajapati, secretary, Raju Rathi and Hemant Parekh, both senior vice presidents, Mitesh Mody, president of All India Electronics Association, Javerchand Gala, Sandeep Jain, vice president of Bombay Metal Exchange were present.
Agrawal said, Mungantiwar took a serious note of all the issues and immediately instructed concern officers to resolve it. Mungantiwar also gave directives to the officials concerned to constitute a joint action group with CAMIT for follow up and timely resolution of the issues.
While urging the government to abolish Professional Tax, Dipen Agrawal said, Professional Tax was introduced to raise additional resources for implementing the then Employment Guarantee Scheme and to establish Employment Guarantee Fund. In recent scenario other populist scheme of government are taking care of above.
Hence the business community in general and service class in particular strongly demands abolishing Professional Tax form our State. CAMIT also, suggested that if they cannot completely abolish Professional Tax than at least the limit should be increased to rs 20,000 per month or above to give immediate relief to salaried persons. Various other issues were also discussed.
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