HYDERABAD: With Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) deciding to remove the maximum ceiling fixed on trade licences for various trade establishments in the twin cities, the licence fee for various trade establishments would be increased abnormally. This way the cash-starved GHMC proposes to fill its coffers.
As per the revised trade licence fee, the corporation will levy Rs 3 per sq.ft for single lane, Rs 4 per sq.ft for double lane and Rs 6 per sq.ft for more than two lanes without any maximum ceiling fixed.
In January 2015, the GHMC had revised the rules for trade licences with the approval of general body. The fee has been fixed at Rs 3 per sq.ft for single lane with a maximum ceiling of Rs 10,000, Rs 4 per sq.ft for double lane with maximum ceiling of Rs 50,000 and Rs 6 per sq.ft for more than two lanes with Rs 2 lakh (Rs 2.5 lakh in case of corporate, branded hospitals and four or five star hotels) as GHMC at that time considered the existing rates of trade licence in some categories were abnormally high.
Therefore with a view to rationalise the rates, it gave approval for revised rates based on the width of the road on which the trade is situated irrespective of the type of trade with maximum ceiling as permissible under Section 622 (2) of the GHMC Act, 1955.
GHMC officials told Express that the municipal corporation currently calculates and collects trade licence fee for business and commercial establishments, super markets, corporate hospitals, star hotels with a maximum ceiling of about Rs 2 lakh per outlet.
This was resulting in a meagre fee collection for the corporation as irrespective of the outlet’s size, including malls, there was a maximum ceiling.
Currently, there are about 15-16 lakh structures in the city, which are assessed for property tax collection.
Of these, nearly 2 lakh structures were identified as commercial buildings, but only 70,000 establishments have obtained trade licence. There are lakhs of commercial establishments in the city but not all of them have trade licences.
As a result, the Greater Hyderabad municipal corporation is not able to generate enough revenue through trade licence fee. In the last financial year, it collected about Rs 55 crore and for the current financial year, the GHMC has set a target of collecting Rs 70-75 crore.
To make the process of seeking trade licences easy, the GHMC offering the facility of applying online, at e-Seva centres, citizen services centres and at circle offices. The GHMC authorities has also introduced self-declaration for obtaining trade licence online.