December 18, 2008

Octroi Is Back

Filed under: India n Me,Mumbai,opinions,Random,This Gets To Me,Truth of India — Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul @ 1:21 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

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.

Ashok Chavan

Chief Minister,

Maharashtra State

Original post:

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.

Dear Sir,

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.

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  1. hey that was some letter you sent to the cm..didnt mince any words :)Superb. frankly i didnt know much about the octroi but from what you have written i think it must go.Maybe you should start an online petition.

    Comment by Krishnan — December 19, 2008 @ 1:26 pm | Reply

  2. Hi , Kavita !

    Good and I appreciate the cause. As for the CM’s efficiency, this is a mere aautomatic generated computer reply which is sent to all the letters received on that particular mail ID. We shall celebrae the victory only when an acual reply or the solution reaches to us in time .
    Till then best of luck to you and all of us .


    Comment by Mohan — December 19, 2008 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

  3. Hi , Kavita !

    Good and I appreciate the cause. As for the CM’s efficiency, this is a mere automatic generated computer reply which is sent to all the letters received on that particular mail ID. We shall celebrae the victory only when an actual reply or the solution reaches to us in time .

    Till then best of luck to you and all of us .


    Comment by Mohan — December 19, 2008 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

  4. Hello Mohan ji.

    Rediffmail which is the address of the Cm does not support auto generated replies according to me. What may have occurred is that perhaps his secretary receives mails on his behalf and replies instantly..which is good enough so long as he does something about it, like you rightly said. what is surprising is the lack of opposition to this major upheaval..its as if sabko saanp soongh gaya hai.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — December 21, 2008 @ 7:25 pm | Reply

  5. Very well written article. But i doubt will do any good. we must start an online petition or a signature campaign of sort. Enough is Enough. Pay for what? Buying something which aleady has been taxed with a thousand different taxes!! Apparently most of the corporaters weren’t even present when the decision was made to bring it back! We are still the same nothing can change our greed for money.

    Comment by prateeksh — December 22, 2008 @ 10:51 am | Reply

  6. Mohan ji..looks like the CM has read your cooment and wishes to re assure you..

    read link


    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — December 22, 2008 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

  7. Prateeksh..I have been feeling the same for sometime now. Initially thought I’d create a Facebook page ” Abolish Octroi” and gather petitions. Wonder if that would do any good or should it be a link to an online petition.Do you have a facebook account?

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — December 22, 2008 @ 12:41 pm | Reply

  8. yes i do. its on this same name. we should now mail the CM directly.

    Comment by prateeksh — December 23, 2008 @ 1:43 am | Reply

  9. Prateeksh .. I have mailed him directly. How do you mean? In any case I read yesterday that he has sanctioned the octroi but not with Konark the present company which has smuggled its way in. I dont quite know what to make of it although one hears that the traders are up in strike in Mira Bhayander area against the Octroi. sadly this is not an issue which has caught the fancy of the majority. they fail to see the implications and how much these taxes directly affect us even if indirect in nature and also extremely arbitrary.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — December 24, 2008 @ 11:22 pm | Reply

  10. Atleast its good to hear that the traders have gone up in strike again!! the check naka is so heavily packed all over again because of all this. I shifted quite recently to this side like few months back but tell me one thing, if a person has work where he needs to carry things with him then do they catch u anc charge octroi everytime or is there some pass system that says that those particular items are for your personal work use only and not for trading purposes? Let the agency be any once the money starts rolling they become the same. on original bill i was charged double amounts because they thought i was cheating them! Its really disheartening.

    Comment by prateeksh — December 25, 2008 @ 12:26 pm | Reply

  11. Prateeksh..I know its all so senseless. But what I get to hear is that only new goods are charged. i dont think they will bill used items. In any case you should keep the chalaan and re produce if need be.

    Lets make a facebook ‘Abolish octroi’ group.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — December 26, 2008 @ 11:21 pm | Reply

  12. Hello Friends,

    Let me make it clear to all that how all this happened in few hours.

    1. There is a very good nexus between the politicians & Konark . The politicians called a special mahasabh and passed a resolution with a thin margin of 3 votes. They also gave an one side extension to the konark people to start collecting the octroi.they did not even had the patience to call the tender , But i would praise the CM for putting stay on the collection thru agents and instructed the adminsitration to collect on its own and to float a fair & proper to appoint the agent. They have already published the tender which shall open on 9/01/2009 .

    2. The cess revenue was not bad its almost Rs.3.7cr from 5120people who paid the cess . It was improving day by day. What made them to change it on such a fast move……

    3. Do we people do not need freedom of goods movemnet. This side it is mumbai other side is bhiwandi ,thane octroi in just the are of 15-20kms what kind of law is it.

    4. to Know for the more developments keep mailing to cm .

    5. To get more information mail us on .

    We are Mira Bhayander Computer dealers association.

    Keep the anti octroi movement on………

    Comment by Sukesh Shukla — December 27, 2008 @ 12:05 am | Reply

  13. 6) CESS v/s. OCTROI

    1 Gives Free Movement of GOODS as like FREE PORT CORPORATION
    Does not allow free movement of GOODS,
    2 Refund of CESS Paid for the GOODS not consumed in MBMC or sold outside MBMC possible.
    NOT such facility exist.
    3 NO Harassment / Torture / Checking / packing / unpacking of sealed goods.
    Damages to GOODS and harassment to everyone.
    4 SYSTEM Oriented.
    No Proper System to value / assess / to follow
    5 Autonomous body controlled by Govt. as INCOME TAX , VAT Private Contract and their rules and Goons
    6 Proper Accountability standards. Manual receipts always indicates wrong narration and values.
    7 Any penalties and dues are payable through banks and deposited directly to GOVT.
    Any forceable penalties and dues payable are in cash / directly to pocket of OCTROI Agent.
    8 NON- Commercial aspects / GOODS / gifts are not chargeable .
    NON- Commercial aspects / GOODS / gifts are chargeable.
    10 Grace Period available for payment of dues
    Instant payment Mandatory, no grace period available
    11 Credential Business information remains confidential
    Credential Business information not saved, confidential.

    Comment by Sukesh Shukla — December 27, 2008 @ 12:11 am | Reply

  14. Sukesh..Thanks for the information. Any ideas on why the Octroi has been brought back? Apart from the collecting agencies, who does it benefit? We can keep the movement up but organisations like yours which are on the front row of the receiving end have to play a major role as well.Why dont you begin a public campaign, involve the media get public support in the form of signatures etc and create some noise. The CM would then have to re think on having even had the intention of re calling Octroi. Do keep us informed.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — December 28, 2008 @ 6:22 am | Reply

  15. Hey Sukesh,

    We must get try and abolish the octroi once more or less this harrasment will start again and we’ll be paying octroi for things which are already used or which were our old things which we were just shifting and for the traders the billing and actually collecting amounts with the bribe will just g0 over the top.

    Comment by Prateeksh — December 30, 2008 @ 6:45 pm | Reply

  16. Hello friends ,

    it is the politicians who are interested in octroi as they get hansome amount for their votes in favouring octroi. How can they say cess is a failure in just few months. Please keep mailing to the cms address ans ask your friends that is the only way to express ourselves. These politicians talk against octroi in front of the people and vote in favour of octroi at nagarpalika.

    Comment by sukesh shukla — December 30, 2008 @ 11:01 pm | Reply

  17. Can anyone tell whether octroi will be applicable on temporary imports that are meant for re-export? Ours is a global company, and definitely this kind of octroi will put a significant bar on our initiative in continuing business in Mumbai.

    As all know, with the technological advancements and increasing work flow, the market is moving to a place where there is least resistance and the most opportunity. No industry in US can now think of doing business without sourcing/outsourcing from India/China. And for us, India is a emerging global market with lots of opportunities, and Mumbai is known as the commercial capital of India.

    There is really no need for Octroi. With the increasing volume of business, the Govt. can definitely earn even more revenues. What we need is more simplified tax/duty structure that can enhance the business opportunities and encourage global companies to do business more in India.

    Comment by Aloke from USA — December 31, 2008 @ 3:04 am | Reply

  18. aloke i even paid for my old house furniture when i moved to this area so as far as your goods are concerned mostly they will charge you even if you arn’t supposed to be BUT in any case find out from the corresponding authorities.
    As for this octroi goes news papers like mumbai mirror do articles where residents put across their problems and they publish it in their news paper and try and even solve it for them. May be to get more vocal that could be done. Sukesh you are directly being affected by this, may be your fraternity could approach the news papers and get support of supporting groups.

    Comment by prateeksh — January 1, 2009 @ 11:16 pm | Reply

  19. we have done all the things but what i realize that every only promises to do something but all invain. Infact we have voted for the wrong politicians.

    be carefull that next time we chose the right politicians .. .

    Comment by sukesh shukla — January 2, 2009 @ 11:05 pm | Reply

  20. I stay in Mira Road, but didn’t saw any person collecting the Octroi at the Mira Road Rly. Stn. from the last 15 days. Even the place where they sit and used to collect OCTROI is still Vacant.

    Comment by Kamal — January 4, 2009 @ 7:13 pm | Reply

  21. Aloke @17..Can fathom your anxiety. This is precisely what most of us feel and and despair against. Why dont you write to the CM? Mails from as many will prove helpful even if it is a drop in the ocean right now.

    His email id is :

    Write in the same tone as you have written here and if possible add on a few of your friends either to the mail or ask them to write in separately.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — January 5, 2009 @ 6:51 pm | Reply

  22. Prateeksh I wrote in to Mumbai Mirror and also to the journalist who put up this article. No news yet.

    Numbers matter. The more we are better the chances of getting heard. After all this is a mtter of actually plunging into the pockets of the politicians and asking them to empty out their revenue or in fact asking them for help to say NO to moolah. Sounds far fetched really. I dont know why and how Vilasrao deshmukh agreeed for the lift on Octroi and why the same reasons cannot be applied now.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — January 5, 2009 @ 6:55 pm | Reply

  23. Sukesh..why dont you involve the electronic media and gather in numbers to be heard? Get your facts ready, your responses sharpened, your logic polished and speak out since you guys are directly on the firing line of the Western front.

    Like I said earlier, numbers matter. Also educate the common man as to how the Octroi directly affects price rise, inflation and unjust taxation where we end up paying for goods that we ahve already paid for in some form or another at the raw material stage. So actually paying through our noses as taxes on taxes !

    You say

    “be carefull that next time we chose the right politicians .. .”

    My question.. Who are the right politicians? Can you point them to us? i dont see any. Whichever party comes to power , end result has always been corruption and extortion in some form or another. Its like falling between two stools ..either which way we are sure to fall heavy.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — January 5, 2009 @ 7:02 pm | Reply

  24. Kamal.. Octroi is collected mainly on check the Mira Bhayander, thane, dahisar etc. please read the link in my article.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — January 5, 2009 @ 7:03 pm | Reply

  25. Yes Kavita, I kow that Octroi is mainly collected at Check Nakas, but they collect the same at Rly. Stations also.

    Anyways, this is no good at all. How can they re-introduce Octroi after abolishing ? This is really disgusting. Some of my friends had told me earlier that MBMC has introduced CESS in lieu of OCTROI in Mira-Bhayander.

    So now, what will happen to CESS ? Do they collect both CESS & OCTROI ?

    Some protest should be done again by all of us to teach them the lesson.

    Comment by Kamal — January 5, 2009 @ 8:44 pm | Reply

  26. Kamal..Yes we are being royally looted. Vat was proposed saying that Octroi will be abolished in 2005. Now we have vat + Octroi + cess !!

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — January 5, 2009 @ 9:40 pm | Reply

  27. Apparently cess in going to be withdrawn or already has been since the re-introduction of orctroi.

    from the dahisar check naka onwards till the mira-bhayander left turn at the shivaji statue all the road turn offs at the highway have an ortroi booth where they collect the octroi just before entering the residential complexes.

    Kamal was right about not seeing the people at their usual place or rather not seeing the people at all i felt just the same but i do see the light in the cabins on.

    Kaveetaa when i contacted the times of india journalist who wrote the article regarding further updates she replied to my mail in 4 days so i guess just hang on a bit she will replay.

    mumbai mirror does usually help out. let me see if i can do something about it. i know a few ppl in the media.

    some one had told me exactly what has happened they told me that the octroi would go just before the elections and after that they would re-introduce it once they had won the confidence of the people.

    why arent the traders again up in arms? apparently it was alot of pressure from the stell dept in mire-bhayander as they had some benefits in the octroi system as in may be under valueing of some sort and the cess was working out more expensive or so dont quite know the details.

    Comment by prateeksh — January 6, 2009 @ 11:57 pm | Reply

  28. Residents and Traders of Mira-Bhayander are the most affected due to this reintroduction of Octroi. Something has to be done in this regard my dear friends. We can’t sit and watch them looting us. They are filling their pockets day & night. It seems, our Babus has been greased very lucratively for this re-introduction of Octroi.

    Comment by Kamal — January 7, 2009 @ 1:47 am | Reply

  29. Prateeksh..I dont quite know of the cess being withdrawn. As we all have fathomed by now the double speak which is a regular feature of State and center administration has made us immune to its deceit. If you recall Vat was supposed to have been introduced at a whopping 12i/2 % on condition that Octroi would be abolished. We presently have both.

    Yes, as you rightly mention in your last para something does seem amiss as to why havent those affected taken to the streets. There seems to be a benign acceptance to the drama. Either the traders feel a sense of profit as compared to Octroi or the the leaders have been bought over. In either case it is the common man who suffers.

    When transparency, accountability and responsibility is what Mumbaikars have demanded form the administartion, as in the case of the terrorist attacks with heads rolling in consequence, then this major betrayal on the part of the Govt has gone unchecked, is rather shocking. No explanations, no excuses , no answers. Apparently the right noises havent been made.

    Why hasnt the media taken it up? A simple question like why do Mumbaikars have to pay almost 20% more for cars purchased in Mumbai when the same is available in delhi for cheaper is not enough to rouse the public of Mumbai..its appalling. Thane is slightly cheaper but costlier than elsewhere in India, Mumbai city is the most expensive for cars etc. because of Octroi. How come the average citizen is taking this lying down I wonder.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — January 7, 2009 @ 11:21 am | Reply

    • Kamal..yes we have to do something. I had imagined my writing to the CM and the reporter might have shown us a path. Nothing happened. But yes writing on Sachiniti brought at least a few of us together.

      As I see it we have two options.
      1) Create a facebook account ” Abolish Octroi” get public support via members and send the link to the CM and the media.

      2) Start an online petition asking for abolishing Octroi .

      For both we need to begin with our facts and figures worked out substantively. Our case has to be right. There are plenty in Mumbai if once awoken will respond, of that I have no doubts.

      So please gather as much information on Octroi, its effects and the need for overhaul.

      Prateeksh, and other friends here, please do what you can and send information which can help us strengthen our plaint.
      On my side I will be doing it too but supportive help is needed.

      Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — January 7, 2009 @ 11:29 am | Reply

  30. so guys any luck? any update?

    Comment by prateeksh — January 28, 2009 @ 10:36 pm | Reply

  31. There was a protest against octroi on 12/01/2009 . For last 15 days people from various organistaion sat on hunger strike at the mbmc gate . But all invain only MR. Vaity of Opp. Leader assured us that the same would be taken in maha sabha . The commissioner say he is helpless …. God know what vision they have for mira-bhayander .

    Now the matter is pending in court and next hearing is due on 02.02.2009 hope that atleast hon. court would lsiten to our thoughts ..

    Just keep finger crossed.

    Comment by ramesh jain — February 1, 2009 @ 2:45 pm | Reply

    • Ramesh..I have read that Mukesh Ambanis aircraft is due for Octroi as well. Considering that the price is estimated at 227 cr it is a sizable tax he is in for. Is there some way you all could solicit his support in the matter?
      Gujarat, Rajasthan have all done away with it. Its just maharashtra now.

      Shouldnt you also be striving for the toll naka to shift from Dahisar? Once Mira Road is included in Mumbai limits legally , lot will change.

      What is the latest on auto rickshaws. Are they still refusing to charge by meter despite the HC directive?

      Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — February 1, 2009 @ 6:13 pm | Reply

  32. are the autos supposed to charge by meter?? when was this passed by the HC?? and whats the check naka shifting bit coz i was told the same with a six lane highway to surat!! i’ve just created a blog and got a section on octroi as well this is the address:

    Comment by prateeksh — February 4, 2009 @ 11:56 pm | Reply

  33. Ramesh was there any decision taken by the court on the hearing mentioned by you on the 2nd of Feb? any positive outcome?

    Comment by prateeksh — February 7, 2009 @ 1:03 pm | Reply

  34. now the new date is on 19/02/2009 . ab kya date pe date…..

    Comment by Ramesh — February 15, 2009 @ 3:39 pm | Reply

  35. Please circulate this link in your friend circle for helping some one who really need help .

    he is a cancer patient…. Please donate genrousally…. please please,,,,,

    Comment by Ramesh — February 15, 2009 @ 3:46 pm | Reply

  36. hey guys any news whatso ever? Any news from the courts regarding the abolishment?

    Comment by prateeksh — March 25, 2009 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

  37. Dear Sachiniti,
    Excellant job.

    But Kuch hua kya!! Nahi na So now we need to create unity of people.
    make group of friends, Traders fro eliminating the octoi things.
    OCTROI is tottally a DHANDHA for all politician.
    An amount of Poor and middle class people which paid octroi is directly goes in these polical parties’s pocket.

    So make unity, come together and take liagal action of this matter

    Comment by YUSUF — April 28, 2009 @ 10:16 am | Reply

    • so lets do it then. lets file a PIL against the octroi removal as well as the auto rickshaw system in mira bhayander where they ply without meter and charge ra5 times the actual amount. even though the auots can ply post the dahisar check naka they still havent got the license from the RTO!

      Comment by prateeksh — May 10, 2009 @ 8:16 pm | Reply

  38. i just read this article in which CM Ashok Chavan has said that the removal of octroi in the near future is not going to be possible as we will face a defict!!! we never got the benefit of that octroi anyways!

    Comment by prateeksh — May 25, 2009 @ 9:30 pm | Reply

    • That is bad news Prateeksh. I guess we have to thank God for small mercies when he says that in principle Octroi is nearing abolition. As for losing revenue, wasnt VAT included to make up for the deficit of Octroi? So presently we pay both and yet Mumbai continues to be a pathetic metro with appalling civic amenities and paradoxically most expensive real estate. WE all know the billions in swiss banks..stolen from the hard working Indian.

      Maati kahe kumhaar se tu kya roondhe mohe
      ik din aisa aayega mai roondhoongi tohe.’

      Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — June 1, 2009 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

  39. another sad news! There was no mention in the additional budget about octroi and even GST will not encompass octroi!! This is just great!!!

    Comment by prateeksh — July 12, 2009 @ 11:07 pm | Reply

  40. Hi:

    Can anyone help me answering this questions/ I searched google, but did not find any details.

    I am planning to buy a car in Mira Road and all the dealers have a different charges with big difference. Some says youw ill have to pay 4% octroi, some say its only 2% cess and no octroi. I am confused.

    What is the reality? Is there an octroi or cess in Mira road? What are the percentage for the same? where can i directly pay the amount based on invoice?


    Comment by APATEL — February 15, 2010 @ 4:31 pm | Reply

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