Indefinite strike called by Mumbai traders

Mumbai, May 6 (ANI): Traders here called for an indefinite strike over imposition of a Local Body Tax (LBT), bringing the business operations to a grinding halt.

All business establishments remained closed in India's financial capital.

The President of the Bombay Metal Exchange, Ashok Bafna said that LBT would increase the burden on common man.

"We are not concerned about the amount of tax but we do not want a new assessing authority and department. We want that this should be brought within value added tax (VAT) and we are ready to pay the entire amount. We are not protesting against the tax. The government is unable to understand that traders are not against tax but they are against the increasing corruption due to this tax. The traders are collecting agent and it will increase the burden on common man," said Bafna.

A Pune trade body had filed a petition against LBT, which will be heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday (May 7).

The Local Body Tax (LBT) has replaced the traditional octroi and is an account-based cess collection for every raw material used or imported into the city's limits by all businesses, traders and manufacturers.

However, the LBT has been implemented in most parts of Maharashtra state from April 1 and is due to be imposed in Mumbai from October 1 this year. (ANI)