Temp licences for merchants not utilizing cylinders

PANAJI: In order to give commercial establishments more time to comply with fire safety provisions, the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) has decided to permit provisional extension of trade and occupational licences till June 30 to only those businesses that don’t use gas cylinders.
CCP will not renew trade and occupational licenses of businesses using gas stoves and gas cylinders unless they produce an from the directorate of fire and emergency services, CCP commissioner Ajit Roy said on Tuesday. Mayor Vithal Chopdekar said the corporation would look for a solution to the problem faced by traders.

The , in a letter presented to the mayor on Tuesday, stated that businessmen especially hoteliers are overburdened with various licences and NOCs from multiple departments making this a time-consuming and costly process.

Convener of the association, Barnabe Sapeco, suggested CCP issue a licence valid for a minimum of five years that is followed by the directorate of food and drugs administration. He also raised the issue of food stalls (gaddas) in the city that aren’t made to comply with any of these licences. “They are permanently placed in the Children’s Park near and they are serving various types of food which is being cooked in the open. There is no sanitation, no potable water, no fire safety measures, no toilet facilities no uniforms for the staff and probably no health cards. The quantum of business done by them is more than the business done by any medium-size restaurant and they do not have any overheads. Their contribution to government revenue is very negligible,” he stated, adding that licensed hoteliers have been overburdened with the new taxation of GST where they have had to hire additional staff to manage the monthly reports that need to be filed.

Commercial establishments are already paying trade licence fees, board tax, house tax, garbage tax and other fees to 12 different government departments, Sapeco said, adding that the association has met with the directorate of fire and emergency services and a proposal for commercial establishments to give self-declarations with regard to fire safety, is pending with the government.

Days after the deadly mills fire, the collector and district magistrate and North Goa district disaster management authority decided stricter fire safety compliance was necessary and ordered all village panchayats, municipalities and the CCP to ensure that all commercial establishments in North Goa comply with fire safety norms applicable to them.

“All local bodies are hereby directed that no commercial establishment trade license shall be renewed for the period after April 1, 2018, unless they have complied with the requirements of fire safety norms as applicable to them.

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