The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has issued a notice to the New Delhi Shopkeepers Federation (NDSF) to pay license fees despite government's order to landlords to waive off rent amid the COVID-19 lockdown. According to the Federation, there are 25 markets including Palika Bazar, Palika Palace, Sarojni Nagar Market, Kasturba Nagar Market that come under the jurisdiction of the NDMC. Further, as per reports, approximately 5,000 shopkeepers are affected due to lockdown.
Speaking to the news agency, ANI, President of New Delhi Shopkeepers Federation Dinesh Gaur said, "We have got notices and interestingly with 10 per cent proposed increase in the fees. This is uncalled for as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that landlords should give relief to tenants for some time in rent. On the other hand, government agencies are charging fees."
He further added, "We are obeying lockdown orders. Our shops have been closed for almost a month, we are paying money to our staff also then how will be able to pay the fees when the government is giving advisory then it must be followed by the government first."
On March 29, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had issued an order which stops landlords from demanding rent from students, workers and migrant labourers for a month. Invoking the Delhi Epidemics Diseases, Covid-19 Regulations, it had said that the district magistrates, zonal deputy commissioners of municipal corporations and the deputy commissioner of police are "directed to take strict penal action against such landlords and house owners under the relevant provisions of law".
(With ANI Inputs)