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80 per cent shops in city function without licence
With more than 80 per cent of the shops in the metropolis functioning without valid trade licences, the Greater Chennai Corporation is all set to roll out a simplified system to bring thousands of such illegally functioning shops within its ambit.
As per the new system, owners of shops that are functioning within 500 sqft area could receive their trade licences within a day of the applications being filed. “There are more than three lakh shops of various trades functioning in the city. But only around 64,000 shops have trade licences. Other shops are functioning without licences. The new ‘over the desk’ system will increase trade licences as the shop owners need not wait for no-objection certificates from the police or health department,” a Chennai Corporation higher official said.
The civic body has listed 137 trades, including medical shops, hardware shops and others, that would benefit from the new system. Even though the shops function within 500 sqft area, Chennai Corporation would not issue trade licences to certain shops such as hotels, provisional stores and other shops selling food items, through the simplified process. Such shops should follow the existing single window system. The Corporation mandates to avail the no-objection from police and health while applying for trade licence through single window system and it would take at least one month to get licences.
In another development, the civic body would also use point of sale devices to collect trade licence fees. “From Monday, there is no need to provide demand drafts. Traders can use point of sale devices to pay charges for new licences as well as for renewals. We will also send trade licences to the mobile phone of the traders and they don’t have to visit our office again,” the official added. Meanwhile, a special council resolution has been passed recently empowering the Chennai Corporation to issue trade licences to beauty parlours and spas.
“A circular in this regard has been issued and such parlours have been apprised of the new rules. To avail trade licence, parlours and spas should get no objection from police and their applications will be processed only through the single window system,” the official said.