The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) on Tuesday passed a new meat shop policy, cleared among the 54 resolutions by the House. The policy has evoked strong protests by the meat traders body, which has threatened to move court if the policy is not rolled back, PTI reported.
What is the new meat shop licence policy?
According to this policy, the minimum distance between a meat shop and a religious place or a cremation ground should not be less than 150 metres. The civic body said it will not take into consideration the distance between the outlet and a religious place if the latter came into existence after the grant of the license. HT had reported on this proposal by the veterinary department of the MCD.
The policy allows the opening of a meat shop selling approved species around a mosque except pork, if the applicant obtains a ‘no objection certificate’ from the mosque committee or the imam.
The meat shop license policy in the jurisdiction of the MCD, currently ruled by the Aam Aadmi Party, will be effective after the Department of Veterinary Services issues the notification.
According to the policy, the fees for issuing and renewal of licenses for meat shops across the civic body’s erstwhile north, south and east corporations has been fixed at ₹18,000 for shops and ₹1.5 lakh for processing units.
The policy added that the fees and penalties will be hiked by 15 per cent after every three financial years from the date of issuance of license. According to the Delhi Master Plan 2021, the minimum size allowed for a meat shop in a residential area is 20 square metres. There will be no restriction on the size of the shops in commercial areas.
For meat processing plants, the mandatory minimum size is 150 square metres.
Why are meat traders opposing the policy?
The Delhi Meat Merchants Association has opposed the policy, expressing concerns that will lead to corruption.
“Why would an illegal shop owner who finds it difficult to pay even ₹2,700 will now pay ₹7,000 as renewal charges, if he can manage by paying a little amount to the local police? This will actually cause a huge loss in revenue to the MCD and also lead to corruption,” an official of the association told PTI.
The association said that it will take the matter to the court if the policy is not rolled back and threatened to stage a demonstration at the MCD.