Kerala

Only online mode for all trade licence applications: Corpn.

Following cases of corruption related to approval of trade licences, the Thiruvananthapuram city Corporation has stipulated that all applications have to be accepted only through the online portal.

Though the Corporation had implemented an online system for trade licences through the Sanchaya portal, the system of manual processing of files had continued. This practice has been a bane across various wings, despite services going fully online.

As per the directions issued by the Corporation Secretary earlier this week to officials of the civic body's health wing, health inspectors in each circle have to ensure that no physical application for trade licence is received at the respective health circle office. The officials have been asked to display notices informing the public that trade licence applications are now being accepted only through the portal. This can be done through Akshaya centres for those who do not have internet access.

The health inspectors have also been directed to convene meetings of the local trade organisations and union leaders to inform them about the new arrangements and to clear their doubts regarding the process. The Secretary, in his circular to the officials, notes that several applications for trade licences are currently pending with officials at various levels. Disciplinary action will be taken against officials if the files are found to be kept pending with them beyond the stipulated time period for application scrutiny.

The Corporation has issued over 20,000 trade licences to establishments in the city. In addition, quite a few function without licences too. Two weeks ago, the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) officials had arrested a health inspector of the Jagathy health circle on charges of taking bribes from a trader who had sought licence for a fruit shop at Vazhuthacaud. Though the trader had earlier submitted an application for the licence, before opening the shop, the official had allegedly made him submit a fresh application as a way to extract a bribe from him.

Though the online system has been implemented, the applicants, due to the lack of awareness, approach the health officials and go through the physical application process. In some cases, the health inspectors have been found to be demanding the applicants to submit physical applications for vetting, before going ahead with the online process. With the new directives, all such practices are expected to end.


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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 5:09:17 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/only-online-mode-for-all-trade-licence-applications-corpn/article65567577.ece