Illegal storage of goods, black-marketing and looting of shops -- these are the possible consequences the police are afraid of if protests against the local body tax (LBT) continue.
A recent communication by them to the government says that as many as 26 cases of agitations have been witnessed in the past month. The affected areas were Pune, Thane, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nagpur, Navi Mumbai and Kolhapur, with Pune witnessing the maximum agitations.
“The businessmen community is under fear. More importantly, it is unaware about the tax. With negative publicity going around, people are becoming more agitated. We have prepared a report on the agitations carried out by the businessmen community and have sent our recommendations to the government,” said a senior officer.
Some of the key points the police have asked in their report are: Is the government educating everyone on the LBT issue? How is it beneficial to the common man? How it is not against the businessmen? Has the government put up a detailed Q&A regarding LBT on websites? Has government distributed any pamphlets explaining LBT? Has it publicised it in newspapers? Why isn’t the government telling people about the places where LBT has been implemented and people are happy?
“You have to remove fears of corporation and income from the traders’ minds. We have brought it to the government’s notice that if the shops are closed for a long period, the amount of loss the state will incur will be huge, goods won’t be freely available and, hence, will be sold at a higher rate and secretly,” said the officer.