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KHADC shuts down 33 shops without trade license
Shullai reassures non-tribal traders of South Shillong
SHILLONG: The enforcement wing of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) shut down 33 shops in Nongmynsong market during an inspection on Wednesday for operating without trade license with Executive Member (EM) in charge of Trade Paul Lyngdoh saying the inspection drive will be intensified.
In a related development South Shillong MLA Sanbor Shullai on Wednesday told a meeting of non-tribal traders of his constituency at his residence that none other than the enforcement wing in collaboration with Dorbar Shnong can check their trade license as per the United Khasi-Jaintia Hills District (Trading by non-tribals) Regulation, 1954 while asking them not to be afraid.
Speaking to reporters, Lyngdoh said the council will ensure that shop owners comply with the Regulation and that violators will face stern action.
About Wednesday’s inspection, he informed that the KHADC Trade department along with the state police conducted the inspection following complaints of the existence of unlicensed shops in Nongmynsong market.
He said the KHADC has covered major areas starting with Iewduh, Upper Mawprem and then Nongmynsong.
Lyngdoh reiterated that only residents from Meghalaya will get trade licenses referring to small time business shops. However, if no locally qualified person is available, then outsiders will be considered.
Asked to comment on the organisations that often shut down shops on their own without the prior intimation to the KHADC, he said the action of the organizations is prompted by gaps in the system.
“Nature abhors a vacuum. The organisations find there is a vacuum and try to fill it. The antidote is to intensify the inspection drive and to strengthen the Enforcement Wing,” he said.
He said the Dorbar Shnong and the organisations should give correct, reliable and actionable information following which KHADC will take action.
Shullai meets traders
Shullai convened a meeting with the shopkeepers and traders in the constituency after a group of people claiming to be from NGOs visited the shops of non- tribals in the area and enquired about their trade license and birth certificates.
Speaking to The Shillong Times later, Shullai said that as per rules, there is no authority to check the license except the district council.
He said the trade department of the council on the directive of the CEM and EM in-charge asks licensing officers to issue notice to Dorbar Shnongs and a date is fixed for conducing inspection if there are complaints about the presence of illegal settlers.
Quoting the shopkeepers, he said the group of people conducting the inspection did not specify as to which NGOs they belonged.
Shullai told the traders that they should not have any fears and that he has already discussed the matter with the local Dorbar Shnong and EM in-charge, trade.
As far as renewal of trade license is concerned, he lamented that there are many instances where the KHADC has not issued licenses for two years when the entire process can be completed in a week or two.
He said that as many traders have not got their licenses renewed, he has asked them to paste their receipts in front of their shops.
Informing that the trade license fee is approved by the government after a due process, he added that section 3 (a) (2) clearly states that for renewal of licenses, the applicants don’t need to get NOC from any Dorbar Shnong, but this is required for issue of fresh license.
“In case of a license granted, the same shall normally be renewed on application unless there is any complaint or any other consideration which the Executive Committee thinks fit to call for a headman and his durbar,” the Act says.
Shullai also said that he would meet the EM in-charge next week to discuss about the problems faced by the people.
The MLA also requested all the traders to renew their licenses.