Crackdown on unlicensed shops

The Maradu municipality is all set to crack the whip on unlicensed shops at the International Vegetable Market by shutting them down.

The municipality has targeted shops that have been allegedly functioning without requisite licence and paying tax for the past nearly two decades.

A municipal team led by Revenue Inspector Shalini Shyam that visited the market on Tuesday morning asked the shops to shut down. This, however, was opposed by a group of traders who assembled to protest the move leading to heated arguments. A team from the Panangad police brought things under control.

In a conciliatory meeting between traders and municipal officials mediated by the Panangad inspector, another seven days were allowed for traders to take corrective action.

The municipality had reportedly issued the shops a notice for not obtaining the licence in 2016. However, traders declined to fall in line and approached the court.

In a statement issued here, municipal chairman Antony Ashanparambil said that the court ruled in favour of the municipality in November last year and directed all traders to obtain licence from the civic body. The municipality resumed the action following this.

The shops concerned were issued 15 days’ notice on January 4, 5, 6, and 7. This was followed by another seven days’ notice on February 16, 18, 19, and 20.

A third notice allotting 24 hours was issued on April 17. The municipality moved to vacate the shops in the face of inaction on the part of traders, said Mr. Asanparambil.

The municipality reportedly suffers huge revenue loss by way of non-payment of licence fee and tax from the vegetable market where 140 shops operate.

“A section of traders operating without licence and paying the tax makes a mockery of the law, and it is unfair to those traders operating in compliance of rules. Unless traders concerned fall in line, the municipality will resort to stringent measures, including revenue recovery,” said Mr. Asanparambil who is in quarantine along with the vice-chairperson.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 8:32:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/crackdown-on-unlicensed-shops/article34369444.ece

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