Mumbai: BMC awaits government's written instructions on change in Act for shops

Updated: Dec 09, 2017, 09:14 IST | Laxman Singh

Shopkeepers yet to benefit from state's relaxed norms for licence renewal; BMC to follow existing rules till then

Shopkeepers and other establishment owners in the city are in a dilemma over payment for licence renewal. Even four months after the relaxation in terms for renewal of licence for establishments with less than 10 employees, they are yet to get the benefits. In August, under the ease of doing business, the state government had announced changes in the Shops and Establishments Act. According to them, establishments which have less than 10 workers will no longer need to be registered to operate, and renewal will be easier to handle and close. They will also be free from inspections on labour compliances.

 According to changes in the Shops and Establishments Act, establishments which have less than 10 workers will no longer need to be registered. Representation pic
According to changes in the Shops and Establishments Act, establishments which have less than 10 workers will no longer need to be registered. Representation pic

But the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to receive any instructions in writing from the state government. The city has about 8 lakh establishments which have less than 10 workers each. Recently, when many shopkeepers and establishment owners approached the local ward offices to check, civic officials told them to renew their licences. A trustee of Bharat Merchant Chambers, Rajeev Singhal said, "The BMC officials have told us to go for renewal as there is no notification from the state government about the change in Act. If there is no instruction soon, we will have to pay licence fees for next year. After December 15 the civic body will start imposing penalties on us for late payment."

He added, "Later, shopkeepers and traders might have to face prosecution against non-payment of licence fees for renewal. But this is very good move and government should issue notifications to benefit establishments." Chief inspector of Shops and Establishments Department, Sunita Joshi said, "We are yet to receive the notification of change in Act from the state government. The bill may have been passed but unless there is a notification we will have to follow the existing procedure. We are expecting the notification to come to us before this month end." A government official said that by next week the notification will be issued to all local bodies.

8 lakh
Number of shops in the city with less than 10 workers each

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