The petition filed by the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association, cited heavy losses, financial instability and mass unemployment faced by retail sector dealing in non-essential items due to the lockdown.
A petition has been filed in the Bombay High Court requesting a waiver of the property tax, renewal fees, and license fees that retailers in Maharashtra must pay for the duration of the lockdown, which begins in March 2020.
Since March 23, 2020, the state and federal governments have enacted various lockout steps, according to the petitioner. The petitioners stated that although they supported the government's lockdown, there was no compensation for the closure of over 13 lakh retailers employing approximately 45 lakh people.
Retailers are unable to benefit as a result of the lockdown because their only source of income is from their customers, whom they depend on for business purposes, according to the complainant.The federation said that it had sent multiple requests for tax exemptions to different authorities but had yet to obtain a response.
According to the federation, licence fees, renewal fees, property taxes, and other fees are mutual duties that must be met only when members of the federation conduct business. As a result, retailers are entitled to a waiver of statutory fees while e-commerce industries are exempt from those taxes.
In light of the above, the plaintiff sought the following reliefs:
1. The e-commerce industry is being prosecuted for violating the "Break the Chain" order's directives.
2. Instructions not to pursue recovery or collection of taxes levied by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act and the Maharashtra Municipal Council Act.
3. Directions to allow the state's retail industry to cover any losses incurred during the shutdown, which will last from March 23, 2020 to the end of the lockdown.
4. In the alternative, orders to waive the taxes levied on the state's retail sector under the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act and the Maharashtra Municipal Council Act for the duration of the lockdown.