Traders demand revision of requirements for licence renewal

Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi hands over memorandum to Local Self-Government Minister M.B. Rajesh

Published - June 25, 2024 01:05 am IST - Kozhikode

Traders across the State are on the warpath over a few requirements for renewal of trade licences.

After several failed attempts to get the government to assess the practicality of the requirements, office-bearers of the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi handed over a memorandum to this effect to Minister for Local Self Government M.B. Rajesh here on Sunday.

“Many of the requirements for trade licences are utterly impractical. The government should be more realistic while framing guidelines,” V. Sunil Kumar, district treasurer of the Samithi, told The Hindu.

One of the contentious requirements for the renewal of trade licences is that the applicants should produce receipts of user fee remitted to the Haritha Karma Sena (HKS). “Not all shops have waste to be handed over to HKS. What is waste for one person could be a resource for another. For example, the carton boxes that we get while purchasing raw materials could be resold at a good price,” Mr. Sunil Kumar said. However, the State does not support these arguments and have asked traders to hand over the cartons to the HKS, which in turn are used as a means of revenue for the agency.

Traders are also supposed to produce the building tax receipt, which they are rarely in possession of. “Building owners often exploit the traders’ need for tax receipt. Sometimes they may not have paid building tax, and traders are forced to remit it if they require trade licences. It may be an amount as big as ₹2 lakh to ₹3 lakh which traders can hardly afford,” Mr. Sunil Kumar explained. There is also a requirement of professional tax receipt, which, traders claim, is too high for small businesses.

Traders have also questioned the stipulation by a few Health Inspectors to use waste bins by a particular brand only to be kept in front of the shops, as per the guidelines. The sections in the affidavit being submitted by the traders are also objectionable, they argue.

The incomplete nature of the K-Smart software has also put traders at odds. “We are unable to pay many of the taxes until the software is smoothly functioning. However, we need the tax receipts to apply for licence renewal,” Mr. Sunil Kumar complained.

Traders made several attempts to make those in power take notice of the issues and make appropriate changes in the guidelines, but to no effect. They have also approached Koduvally MLA M.K. Muneer, who is likely to bring up the issue in the Assembly in a few days.

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