Traders to launch Maharashtra-wide agitation from Feb 5

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Kolhapur, Feb 1 (UNI) Traders in Maharashtra's eleven 'd' class municipal corporation areas have decided to undertake an agitation, step by step, from February five in support of their demand of total abolition of octroi in the state.

''The Maharashtra is the only state in the country where octroi is still being collected despite introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT),'' said Maharashtra Traders Abolish Octroi Committee president Anil Gote and Kolhapur Chamber of Commerce and Industries president Anant Mane in a joint news conference here today.

Despite launching various agitations in favour of abolition of octroi in the state after the introduction of VAT, the authorities had done nothing to find an alternative to octroi, they charged.

Traders of the 11 'd' class municipal corporations, including Aurangabad, Nanded, Jalgaon, Dhule, Akola, Solapur, Sangli, Kolhapur and others, will close their businesses on February five and sit in front of their shops with family members to register their protest against the injustice by state government, Mr Gote, who is former MLA, said while detailing agitation programme.

On February 11, traders will bring their goods-laden trucks inside the cities without paying octroi, he said.

If the state government does not consider their demands, then a traders representative from these municipal corporations will gather in Ahmadnagar on February 17 and will decide the future course of their agitation, he informed and pointed out that traders will create their vote bank to get approval to their demands.

Later, Mr Gote addressed the traders rally here.

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