Gen­eral body stalls plan to hike li­cence fee NMMC to is­sue biz li­cences within 7 days

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­ Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­

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.

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