Thane, Dec 9 (UNI) Abolition of Octroi in Maharashtra is now a distant dream, according to Minister of State for Finance and Planning, Jayant Patil.
Addressing a press conference at the collectorate, after the state level planning meet here, Mr Patil said that Octroi, the controversial levy, was here to stay.
Also present on the occasion were Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik and senior officers of the district including the Divisional Commissioner Srikanth Singh, Thane District Collector S S Zende, ZP CEO Subash Hazare and a numerous MLAs of the district.
Replying to questions from the media, the Minister said that until an appropriate substitute is found for the existing octroi, the octroi will not be done away with.
He said that the traders community had made a demand that octroi should be abolished but the fact remains that if octroi is abolished then it will be difficult to even pay the wages of the civic workers and also it will adversely affect the sanitary work and other facilities.
He admitted that the traders and businessmen have complained that at the octroi check post they were held for unduly long hours. He said that a sympathetic consideration has been given to this demand and a couple of committees have been set up to find an alternative to octroi. These committees have made certain proposals which is being studied now and a decision will be taken after the study is complete, he added.
Patil said that the NCP president Sharad Pawar has made a demand that the farmers should be freed of their loans, in order to gain political mileage. But will the farmers suicide come to an end by freeing the farmers of their debts, he questioned.
The Minister disclosed that the state is to get funds worth thousands of crores under the JNURP and Thane will get the major share from it. The major projects in the district would be completed in the near future, he added.