SMC to get Rs10 cr rent from shops, stalls

Shimla, September 14

The Shimla MC will soon start receiving rent from around 950 shops and stalls after almost three years.

"We will start issuing revised rental bills to shopkeepers by the end of this month. We expect to recover over Rs 10 crore from these stalls as the shopkeepers had not been paying rent for the last three years," said Commissioner Ashish Kohli.

A standoff had ensued between the MC and the shopkeepers after the MC introduced per-square-foot system to determine the rent of the shops in 2018. The shopkeepers, who had been paying nominal rent for these properties stopped paying it. The deadlock was broken a while back when the MC agreed to withdraw the per-square-foot system and the shopkeepers agreed for a 20 per cent hike in the rent. While the hike seems significant, it's not much in reality. As many shopkeepers had been paying between Rs 300 to Rs 2,000 per month, the 20 per cent hike is virtually nothing. As per the agreement, the minimum rent for shops has been fixed at Rs 500.

"Many shopkeepers have been occupying these shops for more than 50 years. Even if we had gone for litigation, the shopkeepers too would have had a strong case," said Kohli.

"The MC has not got any amount in three years. Now, at least we will start earning something," said Kohli. He said the MC would charge the use and occupation charges, determined through per-square-foot system. — TNS

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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