Small traders allegedly conned by MCC officials

As many as three complaints of forged trade licences received

Ratan Lal, owner of a spare parts shop in N S Road in the city had approached Zonal office 1 of Mysore City Corporation (MCC) to renew his trade licence. 

Having opened his shop five years ago, he was issued a licence by MCC, which was renewed annually. For 2014-15 however, officials at MCC declined to renew it, complaining that the licence issued to him was a duplicate.

He was later instructed by the officials to renew his licence for the past two years, if he were to get a licence for the current financial year. 

As per documents available with Deccan Herald, a similar situation was faced by Manjula Kumari, who visited to the same renew licence of Megha Tyres and Nirmala, licence holder of Navkar Distributors. 

So far, three complaints of forged Trade licences have been registered with MCC’s Standing Committee on Taxation, Finance and Appeals.

B V Manjunath, Corporator of Ward No 1, who raised the issue during the MCC council meeting recently, said that such incidents continue to be repeated, even after a police complaint was lodged for forging MCC documents, back in 2012.

 “The case was lodged at K R Police station and one of the accused in the case was arrested in Mandi police station limits. The case was shifted to Mandi police station and no breakthrough has been made in the case since,” he said.

He suspected the role of junior level officials in Zonal offices of MCC behind the forgery, which resulted in a financial loss to the civic body. “Trade licences are issued by Health Officers, and Assistant Commissioners of respective zones are signatory authorities. The licences were issued with forged signatures of Assistant Commissioners,” he said.

Manjula Kumari, owner of a tyre shop, for instance, was issued a trade licence for 2013-14, in which seal and signature of then Assistant Commissioner of Zone 1, Jagadish K N was forged.

Rampant

B L Bhyrappa, Chairperson of Standing Committee on Taxation, Finance and Appeals, said that such complaints are being raised in all the nine zonal offices of MCC. “The discrepancy starts in the number of business establishments in the city, which had to be issued trade licences.

 While the Mysore Chamber of Commerce and Industries Association claims that the city has a little over a lakh business establishments and shops, the numbers according to MCC is around 30,000,” he said.

The renewal fees for trade licence, depends on the size of a business establishment and varies from Rs 1,000 to Rs one lakh, he added.

While Rs 4 crore was the target expected to be generated by issuing trade licenses in the year 2013-14, Bhyrappa said that owing to such factors and official apathy, only about Rs 1.5 crore was collected.

Inquiry soon

Dr D G Nagaraj, MCC Health Officer said that files related to the case has been taken up by MCC. Suspecting the role of “few” MCC officials, who facilitated in forging the signature and seal, he said that MCC would take up an enquiry into the matter soon.

He said that such forged documents were also reported in 2013 at Zone 6, after which two persons, were arrested. “MCC will also lodge a complaint against the same at the jurisdictional police station,” he said.

Speaking on the case of Ratan Lal, he said that he would cross verify the license number and date in which the same was issued, to ascertain the persons responsible for the forgery.

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