Update: Wow!! Am updating in six minutes!! My letter to the CM Mr. Ashok Chavan has already received a response. Have to admit Mr. Chavan sure means business and that is real heartening news. I sent him the mail at 13.09 and at 13.15 I received this response which was NOT automatically generated.
Mr. Ashok Chavans response:
I am in receipt of your letter.Thank you for the same.
Three months of having been abolished and Octroi is back! Octroi, the most unreasonable, arbitrary and illogical of taxes/cess that we have to shell out for no reason other than being residents of Mumbai!! Can you beat that?
Also.. Mumbai is perhaps now the only city in the world where residents pay Octroi for no fault of theirs and no facilities in return!
Anything and everything that enters the precincts of Mumbai is charged with Octroi. e.g.Our cars cost dearer than say Thane just because..( btw Mukesh Ambani feels the pinch..his 440 cr airplanes are in for it too ..he has meanwhile approached the courts for justice)
Traders, manufacturers, citizens had for aeons been fighting the charge and it seemed to have borne fruit with Vilasrao Deshmukh. It was finally abolished.
Obviously some organisations were too used to sitting back and enjoying the lolly to give it so easily. So what do they conspire? At the general body meeting that was to decide the fate, Toi reporter Sandhya Nair reveals ” the absence of a number of corporators at the meeting raised serious doubts about the way octroi was brought back. Corporators complained about giving the contract to Konark, which was the octroi collection agency before octroi was abolished.
A private agency called Konark agency was given the tender. Why? How? Not difficult to conjecture just who all have a cut in the collections each day which can amount to lakhs!! Corporators who didi not attend the voting meeting, the Government officials, and Ministers who care a damn about this illegitimate levy.
Not one to sit back and simply complain, burn in disgust I write to TOI and to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr. Ashok Chavan.
I reproduce my mail to the CM.
The article in Times Of India on the re introduction of Octroi in Mira Bhayander is truly shocking. Vilasrao Deshmukhs promises to abolish it have ultimately amounted to merely a stop gap arrangement. I am not sure if one can read this as a tongue out to the New Govt by Deshmukh supporters. Are we to pay the price for political see saws?
Correct me if I am wrong but am of the impression that Maharashtra or rather Mumbai is the ONLY city in the world with an Octroi cess. Some time back I recall there was a debate on the arbitrariness of octroi since Vat was already being imposed on citizens. At the time there was talk that only one of the two would continue. As things stand today, we have to pay vat and Octroi!!
The statement in the article ‘ absence of Corporators present in the meeting raised serious doubts’ on the manner in which Octroi was voted back, speaks volumes. It is a case of corporators being bribed to stay away. There is no possible explanation for the demand of this cess to be brought back, albeit by interested parties which is the collection agencies. Why on earth should pressure from a party which stands to gain huge sums be the cause of acceding to this illegitimate demand?
This is just another example of how innocent citizens will finally have to pay literally for their inaction. Coffers of the nefarious , unscrupulous elements brim over with monies collected from ‘cheating’ and corruption. This is nothing less than daylight robbery which the Government is a party to and supportive of for selfish gains.
There is also an article today on the refusal by autorickshaws tp ply beyond Dahisar from Mira road despite the orderes from the Transport Minister. As things stand today the auto rickshaw driver does not have a meter which helps him charge 5-6 times the valid sum. He blatantly refuses to comply with orders of updating his license and charging by meter. Who is supporting him in this brazen flouting of laws?
You must bring the culprits to book..whether it is the Police in Mira Bhayander or the civic administration who behave as if this is their feudal land and the citizens their serfs. You as Chief Minister Sir have a role to play and there ought to be no delay in this flagrant corruptive practices on.
I find this somehow a black mark against those who govern and am not willing to sit quiet. We are not a bunch of dumb, gagged, helpless mass who are forced to succumb to the machinations of profiteering racketeers, namely our Corporators.
Octroi has to and must go. Autos must ply according to meter and across Dahisar as per rule.
Hoping to witness a prompt redressal of the issues since you come across as a ‘man on a mission’..that of changing the face of Maharashtra and establishing credibility in our politicos.
I am hoping that there will be a response if one is to believe that the CM is as good as his word. Meanwhile from tonight, when Octroi comes back into force Konark and the Corporators have reasons to celebrate..while we hapless citizens work our butts out, pay Octroi and contribute to reversing the global downturn at least for this corrupt bunch.