LBT stir to linger; citizens brace up for hardships

Citizens may have to continue facing hardships, with a traders` body announcing that indefinite strike against LBT will go on.

Updated: May 12, 2013, 23:33 PM IST

Mumbai: Citizens may have to continue facing hardships over availability of essential commodities after `Akshay Tritiya` festival, with a traders` body announcing that the indefinite strike against Local Body Tax will go on even as a section of retailers called off the stir.

The Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association, led by Viren Shah, yesterday announced withdrawal of indefinite strike going on for last three weeks against proposed imposition of LBT in Mumbai from October 1.

However, the Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) today said that retailers who opened their shops will rejoin the strike starting Wednesday once `Akshay Trutiya` celebrations are over.

"FAM has relaxed its call for indefinite bandh for essential commodities (and) retailers for three days due to the festival of Akshaya Trutiya," a statement issued by FAM said, adding that retailers will down their shutters from Wednesday.

FAM is a Mumbai-based summit organisation of 750 transport, small-scale and trade associations in Maharashtra.

"Despite a section of the retailers calling off the strike, wholesalers` strike against LBT will continue," FAM president Mohan Gurnani said.

The strike which is in its third week now has resulted in a loss of about Rs 1,00,000 crore, claimed Gurnani.

With traders set to intensify their stir from Wednesday onwards, citizens are once again likely to face difficulties over availability of essential commodities.

Traders resorted to indefinite strike demanding rollback of the proposed levy, saying it is likely to result in harassment and corruption.

The LBT has already been introduced in some of the municipal corporations in the state while it is proposed to be introduced in Mumbai from October 1.

On its part, Maharashtra government has already constituted a 15-member committee to address the issues raised by traders.