NMC administration stuck between LBT and Octroi as GST hovers close

Nagpur News: Pressure from the State Government has compelled Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to implement the Local Body Tax (LBT) law. The employees of NMC’s Octroi Department aren’t mentally prepared to levy LBT under this law, which is why heavy losses are expected in the initial stages of implementation.

The LBT law is highly complicated, and Octroi Department employees will find it very difficult to implement it properly since they are not used to such technicalities. On the other hand, NMC office bearers depend on earnings from the Octroi department for administrative and developmental work. Worried about being bereft of this income under the new law, NMC officials are strongly opposed to it. Notably, a meeting of A, B, and C level officials of NMC had been held to discuss the implementation of the law, in the presence of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, on 6th January in the city. All NMC officials present in the meeting were instructed to get in touch with the representatives of local business organisations, and consult with them regarding the new law. The meeting ended on 9th January in the presence of Municipal Commissioner Shyam Wardhane.

Rajkumar Gupta, Mannubhai Soni, Pankaj Bakhai, Anil Kumar Jain of Nagpur Readymade and Hosiery Garments, Golibar Ganjakhet Vyapari Sangh, New Itwai Sarafa Bazar’s Manoj Kumar Soni, The Nagpur Stencil Steel and Metal Merchant’s Association’s Madhusudan Agrawal, Ramkishore Kabra, Kamlesh Shah, Lakshmikant Murarka, Dipen Agrawal, Hemant Gandhi, Umesh Patel, Sunil Bajaj and others were present in the meeting. Members of all representative bodies present expressed their views on the new law to NMC.

The Central Government, in addition, is expected to implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST), under which only one tax will be levied. It will automatically abolish Octroi once it is levied. Till then, Ocroi can be continued. The ruling party is apparently annoyed over not being invited in the meeting, for which the leaders have threatened an all- round protest.

The administration will have stop spending on itself

The administrative expenditure of the municipal corporation is increasing day by day; implementation of LBT will make even payment of salaries difficult. There are 10, 000 employees in NMC, which implemented the Sixth Pay Commission recently. A certain percentage of Octroi earnings are diverted towards payment of monthly wages. Administrative expenses of NMC, which should be 35, has gone up to 49% due to sheer inefficiency.