Ease of doing business for MSMEs: Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Sunday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an amnesty scheme to protect traders in Delhi from sealing or demolition of shops. In a petition to PM Modi, CAIT said that on the basis of the regularisation of 1,700 unauthorised colonies of Delhi (a bill for which was passed in 2021), an amnesty scheme for traders will be the most appropriate step to benefit not only lakhs of traders but also ensure the livelihood of more than 30 lakhs of their employees.
The petition comes in the wake of 25 shops in Sadar Bazaar – among the oldest and biggest wholesale markets for domestic goods in Delhi — reportedly sealed earlier this month over alleged misuse of residential premises for commercial use.
CAIT National President BC Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal in the petition said that the implementation of earlier Master Plans of 1962, 1981 and 2006 was untimely and that the government authorities failed in developing commercial spaces as per requirements of the growing population of Delhi.
“84 per cent of commercial space was developed by traders on their own without any support from any quarter in order to meet the needs of people of Delhi. The shopkeepers in Delhi were charged property tax, electricity and other government charges from time to time on a commercial basis but were never given a commercial status which is a grave injustice with the traders,” they said.
According to CAIT, an affidavit was filed in the Supreme Court in 2008 by the then additional secretary of the Ministry of Urban Development, admitting that various government agencies were able to develop only 16 per cent of the commercial space in Delhi in the past four decades which is ample evidence of dereliction of duties by the concerned authorities.
The association also called for the de-sealing of sealed shops with development norms, which could be specified separately for such shops or areas falling under the amnesty scheme, with reasonable regularisation charges.