On Tuesday, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) passed a new meat shop policy as part of the 54 resolutions adopted by the House. This policy has faced substantial opposition from a meat traders’ association, which has issued a warning of legal action if the policy is not withdrawn, as reported by PTI.
The policy permits the establishment of meat shops selling approved species near a mosque, with the exception of pork, as long as the applicant obtains a ‘no objection certificate’ from the mosque committee or the imam.
As per the policy, there must be a minimum distance of at least 150 meters between a meat shop and a religious place or cremation ground. The civic body has declared that it will not consider the distance between the shop and a religious place if the latter was established after the license was granted. This proposal was previously reported by HT and originated from the veterinary department of the MCD.
The implementation of the meat shop license policy, applicable within the MCD’s jurisdiction, currently governed by the Aam Aadmi Party, will come into effect upon notification by the Department of Veterinary Services.
Under this policy, the fees for issuing and renewing licenses for meat shops in the former north, south, and east corporations of the civic body have been fixed at ₹18,000 for shops and ₹1.5 lakh for processing units.
The policy also outlines that fees and penalties will increase by 15 percent every three financial years from the date of license issuance. According to the Delhi Master Plan 2021, the minimum allowable size for a meat shop in a residential area is 20 square meters, while there are no size restrictions for shops in commercial areas.
For meat processing plants, the mandatory minimum size is 150 square meters.
What’s driving opposition among meat traders? The Delhi Meat Merchants Association has voiced objections to the policy, expressing concerns that it could foster corruption.
“Why would an illicit shop owner, who struggles to pay even ₹2,700, opt to pay ₹7,000 for renewal charges when they could potentially manage by paying a smaller sum to local authorities? This could result in a substantial loss of revenue for the MCD and potentially lead to corrupt practices,” stated an official from the association in conversation with PTI.
The association has indicated that they will take legal action if the policy is not revoked and has also announced their intention to stage a demonstration at the MCD.