Mayor Subrata Mukherjee wants more legal muscle for the municipal commissioner to teach rogue traders a lesson and extract proper licence fees from them. The mayor has prepared a draft amendment to Section 199(1) to the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) Act of 1980, making it a penal offence to run a business or any sort of professional activity in the city without trade enlistment with the civic body.
The proposal will be placed in the civic house meeting on Wednesday for ratification, before sending it to the municipal affairs department. “If the state arms the CMC with proper legal powers, I hope the revenue from trade enlistment fees will shoot up to Rs 20 crore a year from the present Rs 5 crore,” said Mukherjee.
“According to the present provisions, it is mandatory to get every business or professional activity in the city enlisted with the CMC and the owner is bound to renew it every year. But the civic law is totally silent on what action can be taken against a person or an institution running a business without enlistment or refusing to be enlisted despite notice,” said CMC deputy chief law officer Shaktibrata Ghosh.
“We want the authority to book defaulters and without a penal provision in the act, that cannot be done,” said the mayor.
Four types of penal action have been suggested in the draft:
4The municipal commissioner may impose a fine up to Rs 600 and Rs 6 per day of default
4The municipal commissioner may order closure of the trade, calling or profession of the defaulter with police assistance
4He may attach the property or a portion thereof of the defaulter after serving attachment notice
4He will enjoy the right to sell the attached movable property or a portion of it through public auction to realise CMC dues.