Nagpur Vidarbha Chamber of Commerce (NVCC) representing 13 lac traders from the Vidarbha Region welcomes Government of Maharashtra’s order dated 21/08/2020 directing authorities below to refrain from directing traders and their staff for undertaking Covid test if there are no symptoms in them.
Ashwin Mehadia, President-NVCC appreciating the timely response of the State government by issuing the covid testing protocol, making it clear that testing is to be done only when there is any symptom or the person falls under high-risk category said that, we are expecting similar response from government in the matter of Trade License order issued by Nagpur Municipal Corporation which is ultra-vires to Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
Adv. Sanjay K. Agrawal, Vice President-NVCC said that, the recent order issued by Nagpur Municipal Commissioner, mandating every shop/office to obtain trade licence from Corporation is not only lacks jurisdiction but also is in violation to procedure prescribed for under the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act 1949. Commissioner without following the provisions to make, add, alter or rescind the rules, regulations and bye-laws by Corporation has directly issued the Trade License Order.
Agrawal further said that, the Section 376 of the MMC Act, under which the order is claimed to be issued, in unequivocal terms states that only specified things, trades and operations as specified in rules can be asked to obtain a license. The list of goods, trades and operations which can be regulated by Commissioner are mentioned in Chapter XVIII of Schedule-D of the MMC Act. The Act doesn’t empower the Commissioner to control the goods, trades and operations not mentioned in the said chapter. The Commissioner in his order has prohibited every trade and profession (including offices of Advocates, Engineers, Charted Accountants, Company Secretary, Banks, Insurance, Cooperative Society, etc.) within the territorial jurisdiction of Nagpur Municipal Corporation to operate without obtaining a trade license. Thus, the said order is ultra-vires to the provisions of the MMC Act, he added.
Ramawtar Totla, Secretary-NVCC, in reference to Commissioners first statement in press that, the trade license will enable the civic body to know the details of business and services operating in its jurisdiction and accordingly make necessary provisions in the new development plan (DP) in making, and second that said data is required by Centre for Smart City Project said that, introduction of new license raj is not required to gather such information, same can be procured from the Shop & Establishment Department at the click of a button. Shop & Establishment Department of our State is now fully computerised and operational, at least in Nagpur. Totla further said that, the order promotes duplication of work, NOC from fire department and zoning certificate is obtained by builder before construction and sanction of building plan, the order stipulating to again obtain the same as condition precedent for issuance of license is sheer wastage of precious man-hours of administration and public as well.
President, Ashwin Mehadia and Secretary Ramawtar Totla appealed traders, not to apply for trade license till further notice and they should inform Chamber if any coercive action is taken by NMC officers or they pressurise for applying or obtaining trade license.