Margao Municipal Council Chairperson Savio Coutinho was once again gheraoed by the New Market Vendors Association on Friday morning over two main issues – notices issued by the council for revision in license fee and banning sale exhibition in the town.
In fact, the Association has been consistently objecting to sale exhibitions in Margao on ground that it affects their business. However, the MMC has resolved to permit only one exhibition per month and Mr. Coutinho asserted that they have not deviated from this stand.
The Association is also up in arms against the council over its move for revision of trade licenses but there is more than what meets the eye in this particular move.
Quite a number of the shops in New Market have been sub-let by the original licensees and the proposal to revise trade license fees by the MMC is perceived by them as a means to disposses them of the shops they have been managing for years.
The traders in New Market pay a nominal amount as license fee which is about Rs. 30 to Rs. 50 per month while the MMC has sought to revise this fee, in keeping with the directive from the Directorate of Municipal Administration, to Rs. 12 per square metre per month.
Significantly, while the MMC’s revenue from the New Market traders is around Rs. 15,000 per month, it earns Rs. 57,000 from one sales exhibition which are normally held at BPS Club grounds.
“Considering the fact that the MMC maintains the market through its cleaners, market inspectors etc, where the MMC incurs considerable expenditure and gets hardly any revenue from the traders, the exhibitions are a better option for revenue generation as the MMC does not spend anything on them,” opined one councilor.
The traders are upset as the MMC has given permission for an exhibition to be held at BPS from 26th August.