Octroi posts to disappear in GST era, truck terminal likely on plots

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MUMBAI: The abolition of octroi from July 1 and dismantling of the city’s five check nakas will free up a little over 10 hectares of land, an area marginally bigger than the Oval Maidan, which is around nine hectares.

While a final decision on its future is yet to be taken, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta said the land surrounding the nakas in Mulund, Dahisar, Airoli and Mankhurd could be used for bus and truck terminals. The BMC has also received suggestions to convert the space into a green zone.

June 30 will be the last day of octroi collection as the system goods and services tax (GST) will replace it from July 1. Private tourist and goods vehicles will halt at the present nakas. “It will be like a station where tourist buses and trucks with goods will halt. Transport vehicles will be made available from there like BEST buses or taxis and autos, while goods can be transported by small goods vehicles inside city limits. We want to utilise the land as a heavy vehicle terminal to decongest traffic and create parking space. We have also asked assistant municipa commissioners of all 24 wards to suggest uses for the land,” Mehta said.

BMC will also deploy security to ensure the space is not encroached upon. Mehta clarified the land would not be used for any commercial purposes.

At the Mulund LBS post, col lection of octroi was on as usual on Wednesday though there were fewer vehicles. “BMC collects Rs 3-4 crore daily from this naka but it may reduce by 25-30% in the last few days of octroi,” said an official.

 Octroi staffers will be absorbed by the BMC in other departments, said Mehta. Anticipating the abolition of octroi, the BMC stopped filling scheduled posts a year back. Of the 1,922 scheduled posts, only about 1,300 were filled of which 350-400 are Class IV employees.
“Most of the staff may be shifted to property tax collection as it is part of the same `assessment and collection’ department. The other option is to shift only senior employees to the property tax department.But as of now no decision has been taken,” said an official.

He added staffers will continue in the department for another six months after octroi abolition. “They have to clear pending cases, while auditing and keeping old records safe for some years will take at least four to five months. There may be a few cases of octroi refund which will need six-eight months,” said the official.

Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/octroi-posts-to-disappear-in-gst-era-truck-terminal-likely-on-plots/articleshow/59361263.cms

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