BBMP claims that only 10 per cent of the shops in Bengaluru have taken trade license. Out of around five lakh shops in the city, only 48,000 have been issued a license.
Vivek Kumar M
With over 90 per cent shops in the city not having trade license, BBMP is losing revenue.
In a circular, BBMP has stated that under Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) around five lakh shops are registered. On the contrary, only 48,000 shops have taken license from BBMP.
A footwear shop owner in Kengeri said, “The business is not going well here. So I thought it was useless to take license. If I take license also, I will have to pay and renew it every year.”
Another electronic shop owner in Malleshwaram said that he got trade license a few years ago when officials from BBMP visited his shop, but has not renewed it. He was unaware of the online renewal procedure, which BBMP said that they have mandated beginning this year.
The shopkeeper said, “They (BBMP) told me they would come and renew the license here itself. They did not tell me about any online procedure for renewal. As they did not come to my shop again, the license has not been renewed.”
BBMP Trade license fee ranges from a minimal Rs. 40 for usage of one or two Horse Power (HP) driven machinery to Rs. 4 lakh for seven star hotels and manufacture of liquor.
Hotels and restaurants, barber shops, dying units, and other traders with a minimum area have to pay around Rs. 1000 to Rs. 3000 for trade license.
A textile shop owner at Chickpete, which is one of the largest markets in Bengaluru, said, “We have taken license and get it renewed from time to time. We always use online mode for renewal. Sometimes, BBMP officials come and verify our documents.”
The circular dated December 10, 2019 further states, “Notification has been sent to take necessary action in the matter. Much importance will be given to important markets in the city.”
Section 353 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 2002 mandates that places within the limits of the city or within five kilometres thereof may not be used without license and payment of proportionate tax to the local body concerned.
Chetan, a lawyer, said, “Government cannot directly take legal action against the shops that don’t have trade license. They have to send a notice to them and give them a stipulated time to get their license. They can levy a certain amount of penalty on such shops.”
B K Vijendra, Chief Health Officer, BBMP, said that they are in the process of conducting survey about the matter.