BBMP to launch dashboard to track trade licence applications

The civic body has received only around 5,646 applications for new trade licences so far this fiscal

The pandemic has made people wary of launching new businesses in the city. The civic body has received just around 5,646 applications for new trade licences in the current financial year. This, despite the fact that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had simplified the process to apply for and renew trade licences.

In the 2019-20 fiscal, a total of 51,563 trade licences were issued, bringing the BBMP revenue of around ₹47 crore. Of these, as many as 13,171 were new trade licences and 38,392 were renewed.

In the backdrop of this poor response, the BBMP has decided to further simplify the process in a bid to cover more trades and encourage traders to renew their licences.

BBMP’s Chief Health Officer (Public Health) Vijayendra said a dashboard is also being developed, which will reflect details in each zone, the number of new applications received, and the number of pending applications. This will not only bring transparency, but help hasten the licence issuing process. It is expected to be up and running in a couple of weeks.

With the whole process now online, without any physical touch points, the BBMP already has a database of medical stores and pharmacies, hotels and grocery shops. Dr. Vijayendra said that a decision to do away with spot inspection before issuing new licences, for some trades, had also been taken.

“Small trades, such as provision or grocery shops, pharmacies, vegetables or fruit shops, do not warrant spot inspection. However, when there is an inspection and health officials find any violation, the licence issued will be cancelled,” he said.

Traders have to make e-payment of the prescribed fee through the department’s portal for auto-renewal of their licences. They can then download the digitally signed approval certificate in minutes.

He added that even the application of new licences had been simplified. Traders need to submit just two documents – rent or lease agreement and electricity or telephone bill. Applicants can choose the duration of validity of these licences, from one to five years, make payments online and also track the status of their application.

Civic officials hope that these measures will help the BMMP cover more trades in the city and issue licences. The number of trade licences issued is a small fraction of the commercial power connections in the city, a matter that came up for discussion during a recent review chaired by BBMP Administrator Gaurav Gupta.

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