PCMC says no ‘stringent’ LBT for 6 months
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The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has promised to not apply LBT stringently for first six months but shopkeepers and traders remain defiant. For the fourth consecutive day, they kept shops shut, many of them reportedly under coercion of fellow traders.
On Thursday afternoon, traders prevented corporators from entering PCMC headquarters, creating a traffic jam for two hours. They held a daylong dharna. They told corporators that they should oppose LBT in the civic general body meeting and take up the issue with the civic commissioner.
They took out a two-wheeler rally and raised slogans against the government.
At a workshop organised by PCMC for corporators to enlighten them about LBT, Municipal Commissioner Shrikar Pardeshi tried to dispel fear of traders of likely harassment under the LBT regime and said his administration will ensure LBT is not enforced stringently.
"We will go by the rule book, but take up the complaints of the trading community and try to resolve them," he said.
Pardeshi said the industrial community, which accounts for 70 per cent of civic taxes, has accepted LBT, PCMC is not unduly worried about it revenue sources. "Since the industrial community has no problem with LBT, PCMC taxes would not be affected," he said.
Nearly 80 corporators were present at the workshop especially organised by PCMC to remove confusion over LBT.
Meanwhile, Gajanan Babar, MP, leading the agitation in Pimpri Chinchwad, said the bandh on Thursday was also total. "All shops remained closed," he said. Babar said even vegetable markets and medical stores are supporting the strike.
However, R Shah, a shopkeeper, said that at some places small-time traders who wanted to open their shops were forced to close. "Small-time shopkeepers and traders for whom earning daily is crucial to run their homes have been hit hard. They want to keep shops open, but are being forced to down shutters," he said.
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