The civic body will soon have a comprehensive list of trades in the old and the merged areas

Thousands of unregulated traders and trades that function in the 426 sq k.m. of the expanded city limits will soon be reined in by the Chennai Corporation.

The Chennai Corporation has sought the help of agencies such as the Commercial Taxes Department to monitor thousands of traders who continue to evade payment of the trade licence fee to the civic body.

Renew licenses

The civic body has generated a list of around 1.6 lakh traders in Chennai who are on the rolls of other agencies that collect tax.

Even though the Chennai Corporation has been requesting traders to renew trade licences for 2012-13, a chunk of the traders continue to ignore the request.

The Chennai Corporation has collected only Rs. 5.51 crore as trade licence fees from 26,662 traders in the year 2011-2012. The collection of this fee has increased this year from the Rs 3.25 crore collected in 2007-08.

As the figures obtained by the civic body from the Commercial Taxes Department and the actual number of traders paying licence fees to the civic body display a huge difference, the Chennai Corporation has intensified its search for the answer to this discrepancy.

New list

Over 185 trades in old Chennai Corporation limits have been covered under the trade licence fee framework now. As each of the old local bodies in the merged areas had a different list of trades covered under the licence fee framework, the Chennai Corporation has started to identify and list such trades in these areas to include them on the new list.

“Most of the traders pay the trade licence properly. Only a few of them fail to renew the licence. Some owners of rented buildings who want to vacate their tenants refuse to give no objection certificates for renewal of the trade licence,” said T. Sarathy, secretary of Panagal Park and Usman Road Traders Association.

“Many trades which have illegal drainage connections or poor sanitary conditions, though not permitted to function by the Health Department, continue to do so using delaying tactics. These trades do not pay licenses and we are tracing such trades,” said a corporation official.

After the new list is readied by the Revenue Department of the Chennai Corporation, the civic body will add a number of new trades such as manufacturing of bricks in the licensable trades of the Chennai Corporation.

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Aloysius Xavier LopezJune 28, 2012

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