SHILLONG: Several prominent social organisations have joined hands against, what they called, unregulated growth in the number of non-tribal traders and businessmen in the State and demanded the KHADC to stop issuing fresh trading licenses to the non-tribals.
In their memorandum to the Chief Executive Member of the KHADC, PN Syiem on Tuesday, KSU, FKJGP, HNYF, RBYF, JYF, JSU, CSWO, MSM, KJWA (Khasi Jaintia Welfare Association), KWWADA (Khasi Women Welfare and Development Association) and SRT (Syngkhong Rympeit Thymmai) criticised the Council for its failure to limit the number of trading licenses issued to non-tribals and demanded a halt to the process.
“The matter was taken up after the census showing increase in the number of non-tribals in the State,” FKJGP general secretary Joe Marwein said, adding, “The interest of local indigenous people has been seriously jeopardised by the inability of the KHADC to bring down or regulate the number of non-tribal traders.”
The NGOs also said the KHADC should look into the interest of the local entrepreneurs who are either successful or have potential to make progress in their respective businesses.
“The KHADC has not been able to reduce the number of non-tribal traders but instead more and more trading licenses are being issued to non-tribals besides renewal of existing licenses. This has hampered the interest of local indigenous people including young entrepreneurs who are trying to stand on their own feet,” the memorandum said.
As per the Trading by Non-Tribals Regulation Act 1954 and 1969 amendment, the delegation urged the CEM to stop issuing fresh licenses to non-tribals which, they said, will in turn cut down the number of existing trading licenses to the minimum especially in such trade and businesses which local indigenous people are already in.
They also urged upon the CEM not to randomly entertain any no-objection certificates (NOCs) issued by Rangbah Shnongs, Syiems, Sirdars, Wahadadars, Dolois, Nokmas and others besides not to grant any NOC to fresh applicants for setting up of industries till necessary amendment to the Meghalaya Transfer of Land Regulation Act.
The NGOs said they would take up the matter with Rangbah Shnongs of different localities within Shillong and some suburban areas.
SMB notification: Laban MDC Sanbor Shullai has alleged illegal issuance of trading licenses by the Shillong Municipal Board for business activities within the jurisdiction of the KHADC.
Demanding an emergency meeting of the KHADC to discuss a notification by the Board in this regard, Shullai alleged that around 60 non-tribal and tribal traders lodged a complaint to him that some people claiming to be SMB staff directed them to apply for trading license from the Board and not KHADC.
In 2003, the then CEO of SMB had issued a similar notification but had to cancel it following objections from the KHADC based on a court order, he said.
“If the SMB failed to cancel the notification, the KHADC will have to file a contempt of court case,” he added.