General body stalls plan to hike licence fee NMMC to issue biz licences within 7 days
Corporators cutting across party lines took on municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe on Wednesday in the general body meeting of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation.
While several of the resolutions put forth by the administration were criticised by the corporators, they also stalled a proposal of the commissioner to hike the licence fee of sweet markets, hotels and other establishments by 500%, asking him to present a revised proposal.
The corporators who had been criticising the commissioner on various issues, in hushed tones so far, seem to be buoyed by the success of Navi Mumbai bandh.
Opposition leader Vijay Chougule said, “The hike proposed in the licence fee is fine but what about commercial establishments in MIDC area.”
He said, “How can you have a blanket rate for shops in nodes, gaothans and slum areas, where there is a huge difference in business. There has to be a comprehensive policy on it.”
Shiv Sena corporator Kishore Patkar said, “People face a number of problems to get the licences and hence it should be made online. Efforts needs to be made to ensure transparency which will reduce corruption.”
He added, “Often shops in village areas do not have commencement and occupation certificates. Several commercial and housing projects of Cidco do not have commencement certificate. The shopkeepers cannot submit such permissions in slums too. How will they be given licences and levied the fees?”
NCP corporator Ravindra Ithape asked for the rates to be increased by 50%.
Shiv Sena corporator Namdeo Bhagat said, “Just because you want to fill up civic coffers, do not take decisions that will hurt residents.”
BJP corporator Ramchandra Gharat said that the hike should not be imposed on shops in PAP-built structures in the villages.
Corporator Munawwer Patel said, “The officials need to first study the issue and then take decisions. The hike is being implemented after 1993 and it lacks clarity on several issues.”
Mundhe stated that it was not possible to levy different rates of taxes.
Mundhe said, “The tax rates have been arrived at after proper study and will be implemented for all.”
House leader JD Sutar objecting to the commissioner’s statement said, “The hike should have been announced before the budget. It may be administration’s right, but you need to take into account what the elected representatives are saying.”
The members then decided against approving the resolution asking mayor Sudhakar Sonawane to order that it be brought again with amendments and changes suggested by the corporators.
While the general body has severely criticised the civic commissioner’s proposal for the licence fee hike, the standing committee had last month approved the same proposal without much fuss.
The municipal commissioner had then rebuffed the standing committee corporators who had requested for a reduced hike, citing business losses.
He had said that ease of government and not licence fee matter in business.
Good news for entrepreneurs and businessmen. In a bid to promote ease of doing business, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has assured that licences for industries, commercial entities, stock companies, industries, workshops and so on will be issued within seven days of furnishing requisite documents.
Spurred by complaints on delays in issuing permits, the NMMC has issued guidelines to be followed by an applicant.
The applicants are required to append a no-objection certificate from the fire department and a medical certificate from the NMMC under sections 376 and 313 of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, said Ankush Chavan, additional municipal commissioner.
“If the necessary documents are submitted in time and if the applicant personally submits them to the department concerned, the no-objection certificate will be issued within seven working days of the submission. We are committed to it,” he said.
He urged the business community to personally apply for licences and avoid a middleman or an agent.
“Municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe has issued orders that licences should be granted at the earliest,” Chavan added.
Those who face problems on licence approvals can contact Chavan at 27567042 or Trupti Sandbhor, deputy municipal commissioner, the licence department, at 27567387.