Relief for citizens as retailers call off stir

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In a major relief for citizens, more than a lakh retailers have called off their strike against Local Body Tax (LBT).

Even as the standoff between traders' associations and the government continued on the sixth consecutive day, retailers withdrew from the strike.

"We called off the retail bandh following requests from several areas of the city. It being a festive period, citizens would have faced inconvenience if the strike continued," said Viren Shah, President of Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA).

Meanwhile, more than 20,000 wholesalers across the city will continue to protest.

Traders have been opposing LBT claiming that it would lead to double-point taxation. They say that the government should consider value-added tax, city development charge or other single-point tax instead.

"We are awaiting a decision from the Chief Minister on LBT. If the decision is not in our favour, we will continue to protest but in some other form," said Shah.

More than 15 lakh wholesalers and retail traders had been on strike since last week to protest the implementation of LBT in place of octroi. While 24 of 26 municipal corporations in the state have implemented LBT, it is likely to come into force in Mumbai and Nashik in October.

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