New Delhi [India], March 19 (ANI): Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday met with the traders of nearly 500 shops that were sealed for non-payment of illegal conversion and parking fees in Local Shopping Centers (LSC).
The Local Shopping Center (LSC) Federation President, Rajesh Goyal, and General Secretary, Vishal Ohri, represented 106 market associations and joined the traders in the meeting today with CM Arvind Kejriwal and Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj at the CM's residence in Civil Lines.
The traders apprised them of the problem of the sealing of commercial shops. LSC Federation President Rajesh Goyal stated that they had bought commercial space that was many times more expensive to avoid doing business from home. "They were first charged a hefty conversion fee, and even after the BJP promised that the conversion fee would not have to be paid by commercial shops, the battle continued," he said.
LSC Federation General Secretary Vishal Ohri mentioned around 500 shops have been sealed for five years.
He told CM Arvind Kejriwal that with the cooperation of MCD, their shops can be opened. Due to the previous BJP government in the MCD, traders suffered a loss of Rs 5,000 crore.
After hearing the traders' concerns, Arvind Kejriwal assured them that a decision would be taken within a few days.
He stated that for several years, over 500 shops belonging to these businessmen had been sealed. He instructed Urban Development Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj and MCD Mayor Shelly Oberoi to solve the problems of all the traders at the earliest.
CM Kejriwal also said that a solution will also be found for the ongoing sealing of markets in due time, and it will be ensured that their shops can obtain legal status by paying reasonable prices. This will prevent them from being exploited in the future, and MCD will not be able to harass them for conversion and parking charges.
Delhi Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj added that there are big markets in Delhi, including the ones in Greater Kailash, South Ex, Defence Colony, Kirti Nagar, Green Park, Priya Cinema Market, etc.
These are called Local Shopping Centers (LSC) in Delhi. A few years back, the MCD started serving notices to the market for conversion and parking charges that ran into lakhs of rupees. It was not easy for any shopkeeper to give such a substantial amount of money. Due to those notices, MCD sealed the operational shops, and many shopkeepers were seen crying in the videos and pictures that surfaced in 2018. MCD illegally sealed the market by bullying the traders. Even today, most of the shops in Defence Colony are sealed. Around 500 shops have been sealed by MCD all over Delhi," he said.
"This decision will bring relief to the traders of Local Shopping Centers (LSC) in Delhi, who have suffered a significant financial loss due to the sealing of their shops. The government is committed to resolving this issue at the earliest, and the traders will be notified of the solution soon," Bharadwaj added.
Traders informed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that the MCD and the Delhi government have suffered a loss of about five thousand crores due to the sealing. The MCD did not earn any house tax from the sealed shops. Apart from this, the government did not get Goods and Service Tax (GST) from there. While MCD managed to recover Rs 80 crore out of Rs 120 crore, thousands of crores of revenue have been lost by the civic agency.
Sharing details about the meeting, CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, "For the last several years, more than 500 shops of all these traders have been sealed; I have instructed UD Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj and MCD Mayor Shelly Oberoi to solve the problems of all these traders as soon as possible."While, Urban Development Saurabh Bhardwaj in his Twitter post said, "Got directions from CM Arvind Kejriwal to resolve the issue of sealing in Local Shopping Centres like Def Col Mkt, GK12 Mkt, South Ex, Green Park, Vasant Lok Priya, Kirti Nagar , Meharchand Mkt. Soon we will start working on the de-sealing of 500 shops in LSCs." (ANI)