A Chennai Corporation official said that during an internal meeting held at the Ripon Building, a decision was taken to collect professional tax from the private organisations. “Also, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, several shops in the city are functioning without renewing their trade licences. Renewal of trade licence would fetch a significant amount to the civic body,” the official said.
He added that revenue officials of the civic body would start collecting professional tax and identifying shops that are yet to renew their trade licences from August 10.
It may be noted that the civic body stopped collecting all kinds of taxes from residents from March second week due to the pandemic. Since then, the entire civic body workforce, including the revenue staff, were deployed for COVID-19 related works. “Most of the private firms had already collected professional tax amounts from their employees. But they could not make the payment due to the lockdown. We will collect from them. There are around 1.65 lakh firms, small and big, in the city,” he said.
According to the civic body data, around 78,000 shops are functioning with trade licences, of which around 10,000 are yet to apply for the renewal for the year 2020-2021.
On the other hand officials in the field urge the administration to simplify the process of issuing trade licences. “There is a committee of police, civic officials, engineers and others to approve trade licences. We put pressure on the traders to apply but the application would get rejected if anyone of the committee members opposes,” an official said.