Udupi: “The revision of trade licensing fee by the CMC exceeds the prescribed limit in the Karnataka Municipalities Manual. This is a violation of the law,” said former Udupi MLA Raghupati Bhat. He was addressing the mediapersons at a press meet held at the Press Club, here, on February 27.
Bhat alleged that the Udupi CMC was all set to revise trade licensing fee without inviting objections by issuing advertisement in the press. The Karnataka Municipality Act 1964, Schedule XIII dictates that the CMC should issue an advertisement in the press notifying the revision of the licensing fee. The CMC had the power to revise the licensing fee up to a limit of rupees 500 which was mentioned in the Karnataka Municipalities Manual in 3 volumes-2015 Fourth Edition 256(4). CMC however has broken the law by hiking the licensing fee by 300%.
Further, CMC has imposed the licensing fee on professionals and consultancies which is a violation of the Karnataka Municipality Act 1964. The licensing fee is levied on the type of establishment and not on the measure of the area of the establishment. This method will increase the licensing fee by 6%.
The BJP CMC councilors will meet the Deputy Commissioner and submit a memorandum over the revision of the licensing fee. The Deputy Commissioner can scrap the revision notification if the notification doesn’t comply with the rules framed in the Karnataka Municipalities Manual.
“The BJP will hold a protest in front of Clock Tower in Udupi on February 28 at 8:30 AM and will proceed to CMC general meeting in a rally and urge the council to scrap the revision notification when it will be put forth in the council for amendment,” he added.
Bhat took a dig on Pramod Madhwaraj’s statement saying MLA’s from BJP took commission from the released grant and said “On completion of every building, Pramod directs the builder to build houses to the poor and if the builder declines, he directs the officials to put a stay on the NOC certificate. It is a form of corruption,” he added.
CMC Councilors, Vasanthi Shetty, Geetha Shet, Rashmitha Balakrishna and others were present.
CMC Commissioner Manjunathayya said to mangalorean.com on the allegations levelled by BJP that in the pre-council meeting, the amendment on revision of licensing fee was passed by members of the council. The amendment is introduced to the council in the general meeting which will be published in newspapers for inviting objections. The revision of licensing fee was made long back in 1985. Three categories were considered for revision. The revision will boost the CMC income which can be utilized for development. “The amendment can only be implemented if it is approved by the government in a gazette notification,” he added.