Shillong: The executive member (in-charge of trade), Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), Paul Lyngdoh, has urged the non-tribal traders of Meghalaya to come forward and register their businesses and also apply for vending licences from the council.
While speaking to EastMojo, Lyngdoh said, “Under the Non-Tribal Regulation and the rules framed there under in 1959 and subsequently amended in 2019 the KHADC has been legally empowered to make rules for trading by non-tribals. One of the trades that has been flourishing in the past for many decades is the trade of street vending or street hawking but unfortunately in the past many years there has not been any attempt to regulate this particular trade.”
Lyngdoh said that after having gone through in-depth through the various provisions of this act and rules framed under the act. It has now become evident that there is a need to regulate the trade of street vending as is done in the other trades. Hence on October 4, the council came up with the public notice seeking the cooperation of non-tribal traders who are in the business of street vending.
According to Lyngdoh, the mushrooming of street vendors has added a new dimension to the city of Shillong which is the lack of public space and the threat to public safety and public health because of the unorganised way in which the state has been allowed to grow.
Hence the KHADC announced that the vendors should ensure they apply for vending licences from the district council and if any non-tribal found is violating this, he or she will be penalised as per standing norms.
“There are a large number of vendors who pay no licence fees, pay no rent, occupy public space and enjoy the benefit of trade without having to pay any fees to any authorities or any rent to any landowner. Therefore it’s a disadvantage to those genuine traders who are carrying out their trades in EDC areas and are regularly paying their licence fees to the council and shop owners. So with this in mind and in order to ensure that we try to give some breathing space to pedestrians and also to the general public we have come up with this public notice,” said Paul Lyngdoh.
The council has sought the full cooperation and compliance of all non-tribal vendors who are legally bound to first apply for and obtain licenses to be issued by the trade department of KHADC.
Lyngdoh also informed that as far as licencees are concerned there is a large number of non-tribals who have legally obtained licences from district council and have been renewing their licences.