Cash-strapped NMC to hold special camp for license renewal, now

NMC’s Market Department
Faced with the treacherous financial condition, mainly due to its folly of neglecting revenue generation resources, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is now holding a special camp for renewal of licenses for its shops, otas (platforms) and spread over in various markets. The special camp, organized by NMC’s Market Department, will be held on July 17 from 9.45 am to 5.45 pm at its headquarters in Civil Lines. The license transfer process will also be initiated in the camp. Those interested will have to bring copies of necessary documents and agreements negotiated with NMC. The exercise is being undertaken by the NMC Administration after sitting over the matter for years.

The pending mess to be cleared:
Pending issues related to NMC’s shops, otas (platforms) and land will be resolved in the special camp. Notably, hundreds of shops, platforms are the same who were allotted for the first time years ago and are registered with NMC in the same names even today. Moreover, even though many of the shops and platforms of original lease-holders/tenants have been sold out umpteen times, the relevant tax is being paid in the same old rates. It is also surprising that the NMC Administration, after sitting over the matter for years, has remembered the license renewal exercise to fill up its dented coffers. Here also the special camp is not with the mess. There is demand to extend the camp period to at least seven days rather than just a day. Nagpur Today, exactly a year ago, had flashed a report and had demanded the license renewal process ostensibly for revenue generation but the NMC Administration, as usual, derided the demand. And now…

Ready-Reckoner to come into play:
It is noteworthy that the NMC has leased/rented shops, platforms, and open land worth crores of rupees. But the rent is negligible and that too is not being paid by many shopkeepers/platform/land holders. This non-payment of lease money/rent has forced the Market Department to recover the revenue based on ready-reckoner. The rates will now be fixed based on ready-reckoner in accordance with Section 8 of Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act 1949. A proposal in this regard has been forwarded to the Standing Committee’s next meeting. If the recovery of charges is done based on ready-reckoner rates, the revenue of NMC’s Market Department could jump to Rs 26 crore from the meager Rs 4 crore at present.

Read: NMC: Negligence in revenue generation, yet hue and cry for fund-crunch!

The property:
The civic body owns 2485 shops, 834 otas and 1419 open lands. However, disturbingly, at many market places encroachments have spread menacingly that too without paying a single rupee to the NMC. A few months back, encroachments were removed from one of its markets in Itwari but thereafter nothing is done to get the rid of menace.

Read: Personnel crunch in NMC Market Dept. leads to loss in revenue

The proposal to recover market charges on the basis of ready-reckoner rates has a provision to slap two percent penalty per month on the defaulters. The Town Planning Department will first assess the ready-reckoner and then 8.50 percent of the rates will be recovered as rent. In the the proposal was submitted to the Standing Committee on November 28, 2014 itself but the panel had opposed recovery of charges simultaneously. The proposal was later returned to the administration for review. In view of this development, consultations were held with Town Planning Department and the new proposal was prepared.

Read: Mind-blowing matter: 533 files go missing from NMC’s Market Department

– Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha ( )