KOLKATA: West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra on Monday said the state government has decided to slash fire licence fees by 92 per cent.
The state government reduced the fees uniformly in four categories where fire licences are required, he said.
"The new rates will make registration more affordable. There will be a uniform reduction of 92 per cent in all the four categories," Mitra said after a cabinet meeting held at the state assembly on Monday.
The first category includes residential buildings, educational institutes, art galleries, dharmashalas and libraries.
In 2017, the fire licence fee for these establishments was Rs 53.80 per square metre of floor area.
Now, it has been made Rs 4.35, he said.
For hospitals, research centres, guest houses and nursing homes falling under the second category, the fee was Rs 80.70 per square metre of floor area.
"It is reduced to Rs 6.52 per square metre," the minister said.
Fire licence fee for ports, airports, shopping malls, offices and markets which fall under the third category was Rs 107.60 per square metre of floor area in 2017.
The government decided to bring it down to Rs 8.07 per square metre, Mitra said.
In the fourth category, the fee for outlets of hazardous substances such as fireworks has been reduced to Rs 13.05 per square metre of the floor from Rs 161.40, he said.
The annual "special fire fee" was reduced to a nominal amount after several requests were made to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee by the small and medium scale businessmen to slash it, Mitra added.