Obtaining a trade licence, which had become easier during the tenure of the then administrator T M Vijay Bhaskar, will become tougher now as the civic agency has decided to mandatorily collect property tax payment receipts. Bhaskar, in an effort to increase the number of traders in BBMP limits, had relaxed several norms for issuing a trade licence.
In fact, Bangalore Mirror had carried a report on the issue titled “Get trade licence if you have consent of owner, neighbours” on July 6, 2015. Now after nearly 17 months, the civic agency feels that the number of traders has increased but few people are coming forward to get the trade licence.
This means that these establishments are running but the BBMP is kept away from the collection of property tax, said a source. Speaking to media, Netra Narayan, chairman for the Committee on Accounts, said that BBMP is losing revenue in the form of property tax.
“As several norms in the issuance of trade licences were relaxed during the administrator period, property owners have forgotten to pay taxes. It has become easy for everyone to bring the documents concerned from the owner and neighbours to obtain the trade licence. By doing this, property owners are evading taxes, which is not the good practice,” she said.
BJP corporator and former accounts committee chairman M Goutham Kumar said that it was shocking how several choultries were functioning in Yelahanka zone without obtaining trade licence. When committee members reviewed the trade licence issued in the zonal meeting, health officials admitted that around 24 choultries were working illegally. According to BBMP records, it has issued around 50,000 trade licences to vendors and the commercial tax department has issued six lakh VAT licences.
What was relaxed?
The Karnataka Municipal Act 1976 section 353, 354, 447 and bye-laws 41 make it mandatory for submitting seven documents – Tax paid receipt, khatha extract and certificate, neighbour consent letter, owner consent letter, layout sketch, sanction plan and occupancy certificate, before applying for a trade licence. All these documents were scrapped earlier.
What is mandatory?
A medical officer who issues trade licences said: “It is still mandatory for traders to provide power bill and the owner’s and neighbours’ consent to obtain licence in industrial areas along with the mandatory fees. This will be compulsory if the area of operation is in a residential area, which has roads wider than 40 feet.”
Credits Bangalore Mirror