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South schools public service units no more?

South schools public service units no more?
Private schools and educational institutions in south Delhi will no more get the benefits of being ‘public service institutions’, as the local civic body has decided to put them under ‘trade’ category and licenses would soon be mandatory for them.

The new policy is likely to be implemented in the current session. The corporation has also decided to outsource private companies to issue trade licenses and clear the pending applications.

‘These schools are no more public service institutions as they charge heavy fee from students, besides several hidden charges. They are actually profit- making organisations and should be treated accordingly,’ said Rajesh Gehlot, Chairman of Standing Committee with South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC).

‘The draft of the policy is being prepared. It will be put for consideration of the standing committee within a fortnight,’ added Gehlot.

In the new trade policy, the exempted category for trade license are- lawyer chambers, chartered accountants, all institutions for physically-challenged and government-owned educational institutions. The private schools will now have to get trade license and pay property tax for their buildings as per the provisions.

The corporation is also preparing a list of such private schools in its area and notices will be issued to them to get the licenses from the trade department of the corporation.

‘We will also outsource private companies to issue the trade licenses as corporation is facing acute staff shortage and several such establishments in the area are running without trade license,’ informed Gehlot.

Explaining the process, he said the companies qualifying the requirements will be given to conduct the licensing process in one ward each and after that the policy will be reformed with their inputs and experiences, which would be implemented in the entire SDMC area.

‘The companies will collect the license fee on behalf of the corporation, which will directly go into the account of the SDMC. Their fee will be reimbursed separately as per the agreement. They will never be allowed to collect the money directly from consumers,’ added Gehlot.

At present, the trade licenses are issued to traders, general stores, industries, weekly markets and shops. The corporation is also planning to transfer some items from health trade to general trade category.
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