JMC defers decision on imposing license, renewal fee on traders

Dy Mayor Purnima Sharma and JMC Commissioner Pankaj Magotra during a meeting with JCCI members in Jammu on Saturday. —Excelsior/Rakesh
Dy Mayor Purnima Sharma and JMC Commissioner Pankaj Magotra during a meeting with JCCI members in Jammu on Saturday. —Excelsior/Rakesh

Gopal Sharma

JAMMU, Sept 7: The Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) today deferred its decision to impose license fee and heavy annual renewal charges on the traders and others.
This announcement was made by the Deputy Mayor of JMC, Purnima Sharma along with Commissioner, JMC, Pankaj Magotra during meeting with the members of Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the apex body of traders in the region. The heads/ representatives of various trade bodies and hotel associations were also present. They declared that in view of the prevailing scenario in the State, the decision has been kept in abeyance.
Official sources said that instructions from the top in the administration were also issued to the Commissioner and Mayor JMC to keep this decision in abeyance in view of prevailing situation in the State. Various trade bodies had seriously reacted and warned to go on indefinite shut down if this decision was implemented.
It is pertinent to mention here that issue evoked strong reaction from traders and others, after Excelsior exclusively reported the matter on Friday. The issue attracted the attention of not only traders but general public as well, as the fee projected in the JMC order was highly exorbitant and unfair. The JMC authorities had basically, taken this initiative to generate huge revenue. But this decision appeared very harsh to the traders, who claimed that stake holders were never taken into confidence.
Earlier, during meeting at Chamber House this afternoon, JCCI president Rakesh Gupta assured the JMC Commissioner and Deputy Mayor that being an important stakeholder they fully realised that the JMC required the funds to create good infrastructure as also to keep the city clean but before imposing any levy, JMC should always consult stake holders for suggestions so that issues could be decided mutually.
He strongly protested against the unilateral decision of the JMC imposing heavy fee on the traders, hoteliers and different sections of the business community and categorically said that after extensive consultations with all the affiliated associations the Chamber is of the view that, traders shall not pay even a singly penny as additional levy given the worst business conditions prevailing in the State because of law and order problem.
He further advised the JMC first to do proper home work and set their internal system in place and arrive at a workable plan to be discussed with JCCI before arriving at such decisions.
The JMC Commissioner explained various reasons for imposing all taxes and levies to make JMC cash rich and provide better living conditions to people in Jammu. He also answered the different queries raised by different heads of various associations present in the meeting.
Prominent among those present in the meeting included JCCI senior vice president, Rajesh Gupta, junior vice president Rajeev Gupta, secretary general Manish Gupta, secretary Gaurav Gupta, treasurer Ashu Gupta, ex-presidents JCCI Jugal Mahajan, Vijay Aggarwal, Yash Pal Gupta and presidents of different trade, transport, hoteliers and tourism associations.