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Thursday, Jul 18, 2002

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Mumbai wholesalers' bandh tomorrow

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MUMBAI, July 17

THE wholesale traders of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai will observe a one-day token bandh on July 19 seeking Government intervention on the issue of resale-tax and `abnormal' hike in Octroi duties.

The Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM), the apex body representing more than 750 associations and chambers of commerce of trade, transport and small-scale industries from all over the State, has called for the bandh.

According to FAM, the business community was facing severe problems following abnormal hike in Octroi duty on several items across the board, hike in resale tax and widening of the net by including industrial raw materials, essential commodities, food products, agricultural produce and items having 4 per cent schedule rate of tax, levying of multi-point tax on iron and steel products with effect from August 1 and change in definition of molasses by State Excise Department thereby harassing the gur traders.

"The federation made several attempts in the last few weeks to meet the Chief Minister of Maharashtra personally so as to apprise him of the severe problems faced by the business community due to changes in rates of taxes and levies by the State Government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), '' Mr Mohan Gurnani, President of FAM, told newsmen here.

"The trade will observe a bandh on Friday and stage a dharna at Azad Maidan. If the Government does not respond to our plea positively, the business community will go on one-day bandh all over Maharashtra on July 26, which would be followed by an indefinite bandh,'' Mr Gurnani said.

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