Traders in Madhya Pradesh have requested the state government to bring down the mandi tax rate to 0.5% again from 1.5% currently, for the benefit of farmers and traders. "Acting on the traders' demand, the state government had lowered the mandi tax to 0.5% in November from 1.5%. However, on Feb 15, it reintroduced the old tax regime which is hurting the pockets of both farmers and traders," Gopaldas Aggarwal of the Anaj Dalhan Tilhan Vyapari Sangh said.
The state revised the mandi tax rate to 1.5% as the reduced taxes were affecting the total income of mandis, an official with the state government said. "If the state government does not pay heed to our request and lower the taxes, traders will be left with no option but to call a state-wide strike," Aggarwal said.
The association wrote to the state government this week demanding a cut in the mandi tax rate and also to abolish destitute fees, he said. In 2019-20 (Apr-Mar), the total income of Madhya Pradesh's 237 mandis was 12 bln rupees while expenditure was around 6.8 bln rupees, the official said. In September, the traders in the state went on an indefinite strike demanding a tax cut and claimed that the higher tax was hurting their business. Madhya Pradesh is the largest producer of soybean, chana, garlic, and among the leading growers of pulses, paddy, and wheat.