Mumbai: Barring party lines, corporators seek relaxations for eateries, traders

The corporators of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) across party lines are now writing to the civic administration urging the authorities to allow hoteliers, traders and small time businessmen, to operate their business at a limited capacity.

As part of state government's 'Break the chain' order, business enterprises not classified as essential services have been barred from operating till April 30. As a result, various associations of traders and hoteliers have been hitting the streets regularly since early this week, to protest the state government's move.

The public representatives have said that in the past one year, the small scale industries have suffered immense loss and most of them are still struggling for survival. As a result in this situation the civic body should try implementing updated SOP's that would allow them to operate in a limit manner.

Ravi Raja, senior Congress corporator and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the BMC, has written to the municipal commissioner on Friday urging the civic chief urging them to waive off license fee of the restaurants and hotels, as long as the mini lockown is in action.

"If the state can exempt IPL matches and film shootings from the restrictions, then they should do the same for the hospitality sector as well, in Mumbai alone lakhs of citizens are employed in various restaurants and many outstation citizens are dependent on hotels and eateries for their daily meals as well," said Raja.

"The state and municipal body should come up with a new SOP and also the business enterprises should be given a waiver of their license fees as well," he added.

Renu Hansraj, BJP corporator from Juhu, asked the municipal to allow private offices and markets to operate with minimum staffers.

"The situation this year is different from that of last year, as we have gained knowledge in dealing with the pandemic and we ought to have been better prepared as an administration," said Hansraj in her letter.

"Most of the small time traders, retailers, shop owners, have their premises on rent, the closure will directly affect the economy and it will be difficult for small enterprises to pay their GST," the letter read.

On Thursday, Prabhakar Shinde, BJP group leader in BMC, had written to the civic body seeking allowance for business with 50 percent capacity.

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