Mumbai: Octroi fades into history

Mumbai: Octroi fades into history

Mumbai: Octroi fades into history

The five Octroi nakas of Mumbai are sort of landmarks for the financial capital of India. Besides, these have been the biggest revenue earner for the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), one of the biggest civic bodies of the country. From 1 July, Octroi is part of taxation history, but these check nakas would continue to be a reminder of the past.

Huge queues along the Octroi check nakas and hustle-bustle at the counters would be a thing of the past as the Goods and Service Tax (GST) has come into force.

Octori has also been a political issue for Mumbai and whosoever was in power in corporation ensured that it gives more revenue to the corporation. Besides, there had also been reports of rampant corruption.

For BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta, it now a major challenge as how to utilise these bits of infrastructure - that gave close to Rs 7,000 crore annually and employed more than 2,000 persons. These employees would be absorbed in other departments of the BMC. There are others in indirect employment as well - loaders and nearly 3,000 licensed and unlicensed agents. Octroi has been in force in Mumbai from 1 April, 1964.

The five octroi nakas- Mumbai-Panvel Highway (Mankhurd), Eastern Express Highway (Mulund East), Western Express Highway (Dahisar), Mulund-Airoli Link Road Naka (Airoli) and Lalbahadur Shashtri Marg Naka (Mulund) would now be used for some other purposes.

As far as volume of operations are concerned, the five Octori nakas at the entry points of Mumbai, railway terminuses like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Dadar Terminus and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus at Kurla on Central Railway and Mumbai Central and Bandra Terminus on Western Railway and the Mumbai port and Mumbai airport, account for close to 30,000 bills per day. This is around Rs 15 to Rs 20 crore per day.

"As soon as President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi pressed the button marking the hearlding of GST, we stopped collecting Octroi," a top source involved in Mumbai's Octroi collection, told Deccan Herald. The department, however, will remain operational for some time as they have to clear pending cases and disputes.

As far as the use of these nakas are concerned, the Assistant Municipal Commissioners of 24 wards have been asked to give their inputs. What the BMC has in mind is to create bus terminus, parking plazas or small business hubs, BMC officials said.

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