Published On : Tue, Jun 4th, 2019

Resolve issues of traders before assembly elections of state : Dipen Agrawal to state government

Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra Industry and Trade ( CAMIT ) recently organized All Maharashtra Executive Council Meeting on Sunday, on 2nd June 2019 at Navi Mumbai Merchants Gymkhana.

Chairman Shri Mohan Gurnani and President Shri Dipen Agrawal welcomed all the delegates and thanked them for attending the meeting in large numbers on a short notice. They jointly announced the State Level Executive Council Members – Shri Mohan Gurnani – Chairman, Shri Dipen Agrawal – President, Shri Ashok Bafna – Executive President, Shri Raju Rathi and Shri Hemant Parekh – Sr. Vice President, Shri Nikunj Turakhia – Hon. General Secretary, Shri Ajit Kothari, Shri Mitesh Mody and Shri Mitesh Prajapati – Gen. Secretary, Shri Saurabh Shah – Hon. Treasurer, Shri Jimmy Paul and Shri Deven Dani – Jt. Treasurer, Shri Javerchand Gala – Chairman of Electrical and Electronic Trade and Industries Committee and Shri Nirmal Bhambhani – Chairman of Retail Trade Committee. 25 Vice Presidents representing all Municipal Corporations of Maharashtra were also inducted in the state level executive council.

The state level executive council meeting discussed and decided the future course of action on contiguous issues faced by trade and industry.

Local Body Tax (LBT): delegates from all Municipal Corporations raised the issue of harassment at the hands of LBT officers in the name of assessment. Members present acknowledged the sincerity of Hon’ble CM in fulfilling his pre-poll promise to abolish LBT, however taking note of the fact that LBT was virtually abolished from State since August 2016 the harassment by local bodies on pretext of assessment continues. Members felt that LBT assessment has become a tool for harassment, extortion and corruption. Instances of Local bodies bluntly refusing the legitimate refund of LBT and deposits kept during erstwhile Octroi and LBT regime. After deliberating the issue at length members unanimously resolved to demand complete closure of LBT department on or before 31st March 2020 .

Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC): delegates discussed various challenges and difficulties they faced due to APMC Act and Market Cess. The very motive of APMC Act have been defeated as most of the trade takes place outside market area in most of the cities. Therefore members conducting business outside APMC are unnecessarily being harassed by authorities misinterpreting the provisions of APMC Act which is against the government’s policy of bringing ease of doing business. The market committees has become breeding ground for corruption and the arbitrary levy of cess at multiple points on single commodity increases the cost for common man of Maharashtra. A committee wasformed and named as ‘No APMC’ committee with Shri Walchand Sancheti as Convener , and Shri Prafulbhai Sancheti as Co-convener to take forward the state level movement for “NO APMC – NO CESS” also no alternative Cess by whatsoever name.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Retail and Online trade : the issue was discussed in length and deliberated on various challenges and difficulties faced by retailers, SMEs and MSMEs due to Malls, Online trading and proposed 100% FDI in retail. Members felt that there is no level playing field provided by the government for traditional retail businessman to compete against Malls and Online trade. Poor road infrastructure, parking woes, store time restrictions etc discourages customers to buy goods from retail outlets. Also it is felt that there is an immediate need to restrict MNCs and online portals to stop luring customers by indulging in unethical practice of predatory pricing so as to slaughter traditional retail markets. The members unanimously resolved to form a committee called ‘Save Small & Retail Trade’ to safeguard interest of members with Mr. Ajay Shah – Convener, Mr. Samir Shah – Co Convener with other members to study the draft e-commerce policy and prepare objections and suggestions to be submitted and chalk out future line of action to effectively agitate get the issue addressed.

Amnesty scheme on VAT : Shri Dipen Agrawal, Shri Raju Rathi and Adv. Sanjay K. Agrawal brifed the members about the nitty-gritty of Maharashtra Tax Settlement Scheme 2019 and requested them to communicate with trading community in their areas so that they can take benefit of the scheme. Members congratulated team CAMIT for the efforts made for getting the settlement scheme notified by Government of Maharashtra. It was decided to make a covering note on benefits of Settlement Scheme along with short video and to circulate the same to members across the State and encourage members to benefit from the scheme and promote the scheme on behalf of GoM in the best interest of trading community of state .

MATHADI Law – Harassment to Mumbai and Thane traders by fringe elements : Members present specially from Mumbai and Thane vented their grievances against extortion by self-claimed MATHADI’s in and around MUMBAI and Thane targeting retail and semi wholesale market in the areas and also misuse of MATHADI laws to pressurize and extort from trade and industries. The regressive Mathadi Schemes framed under the MATHADI Act, has not been ratified by the Assembly is being misused by these local self-proclaimed MATHADI leaders to extort money from traders . The members observed that only two states in India namely Kerala and Maharashtra are having this regressive MATHADI Act of which Maharashtra has acknowledged in its new Retail Policy that MATHADI law is hampering growth of commerce and industry and thus they offered relaxing provisions of MATHADI Act for new retail outlets in the policy. It was unanimously decided to demand complete abolishment of regressive MATHADI Act from Maharashtra.

Bombay Port Trust (BPT) : Mr. Nikunj Turakhia and Mr. Hemant Bhuta briefed the meeting about the consistent efforts made by Shri Mohan Gurnani and Shri Dipen Agrawal to safeguard interest of tenants of MBPT and members of steel and metal markets. Mr. Hemant bhai extended his gratitude to team CAMIT for their unconditional, timely and continuous help.

The meeting was well attended by members from Pune, Nagpur, Akola, Amravati, Chandrapur, Sangli, Kolhapur, Sholapur, Thane, Navi mumbai, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi, Malegaon, Nanded, Dombivili, Kalyan, Pimpri Chinchwad etc . Members present, including the few who could not attend the meeting, affirmed united, active cooperation and participation in all the assignments and activities of CAMIT, present and future as well.

Meeting was conducted by Mitesh Mody and vote of thanks was proposed by Shri Nikunj Turakhia the General Secretary of CAMIT.

Informs a press release issued by CAMIT.