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June 19, 2015

WB Govt eases trade license rules

WB Govt eases trade license rules

The West Bengal Government, on Wednesday, eased the rules to get a trade license in an effort to weed out procedural delays. From now on, people can get a provisional certificate for a year, pending all the regulatory approvals, immediately on application.

They will have a year to get the Permanent Enlistment Certificate, which will be valid for three years. At present, that licence is valid for only a year.

The Bill proposed by Urban Development Minister Mr Firhad Hakim in the State Assembly on Wednesday was supported by the opposition. Trade licence, an essential prerequisite to trade, own a shop or office premises, is granted by the municipal bodies for a fee of Rs 2,500. This licence has to be renewed every year for a fee.

According to the earlier procedure, a person had to formally apply to the municipal department and submit updated tax receipts, owner ship documents and consent letters or tenancy certificates for rented places along with the application. Professionals had to submit another set of documents to prove that their jobs were valid. This, however, was only one aspect.

For specific trades, a different set of regulatory approvals were also needed. To run a wine or liquour shop, it required an additional police and excise approval and for import-export units, separate approvals from customs, excise and appointing authorities were required. An applicant had to wait till all of these came through.

These things are long winding and take a lot of time -anything from three to six months. However, according to the amended laws, those under Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Howrah Municipal Corporation and other municipalities in the state, can log on to the web portal (or make a formal application over-the-counter) and pay the requisite fee.

If, prima facie, their documents are in order, it will immediately lead to the issuance of provisional certificates pending the statutory approvals. These certificates are valid for only a year and permanent certificates have to be obtained within that time.

“So no one has to wait. Multiple agencies have their own procedures for verification and this may take time. In the meantime, one can ply their trade with the provisional certificates,” the Urban Development Minister said.