AAP accuses BJP-run civic agencies of corruption, BJP says accusations frivolous

Earlier this week, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had issued directions to the civic agencies asking them to do away with health trade licences for restaurants, citing requests from stakeholders in the industry who pointed out that the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) already had protocols in place.

10 Oct 2020 |  40

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led municipal corporations of Delhi (MCDs) of corruption and alleged that civic body officials took bribes for issuing/renewing health trade licences of restaurants in the city. The BJP hit back and said the charges were “frivolous”. Earlier this week, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had issued directions to the civic agencies asking them to do away with health trade licences for restaurants, citing requests from stakeholders in the industry who pointed out that the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) already had protocols in place. AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said Friday, “The BJP-ruled MCDs do not want to abolish licence raj; they want to continue to issue health trade licences to restaurant owners. CM Kejriwal told the commissioners of all three MCDs that the restaurant operators will not need to get health trade licences from the MCDs anymore. Under the law made in 2011, all restaurants are registered under the FSSAI and they are given a five-year licence, and yet the MCD is harassing restaurant owners.” “Every restaurant owner in Delhi has to pay a bribe of ₹1-5 lakh to an MCD official for renewal of health trade licences. The central government has already written to the MCDs asking them to stop this practice but the BJP-ruled MCDs continue with it,” said Bhardwaj, who is also the MLA from the Greater Kailash assembly segment. He further said, “It is shameful that the BJP is not paying the salaries of doctors ( in a reference to the strike by Hindu Rao Hospital doctors); the BJP-ruled MCDs are corrupt and incompetent. In the past five years, the AAP government’s revenue has doubled but in MCDs, only the incomes of councillors have increased.” Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said, “Statements by MLA Bhardwaj are frivolous. It is strange that the AAP leaders don’t know the difference between trade licence given to shops and health licence given to restaurants, which involve public health.” “Obtaining a trade licence does not require traders to go to any inspector; it is issued online. Restaurants are given health licences as their businesses involve public health. Hence, periodic checks by municipal doctors and health inspectors are mandatory and licences are issued manually thereafter. AAP leaders should know that the world over, restaurants and hotels are issued licences in a similar manner,” Kapoor said.

Hot Videos

Trending