As the Centre continued to grapple with the issue of sealing, the traders in Delhi today demanded constitutional amendment to legalise shops in residential areas to address the crisis.
A group of traders, under the banner of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), met Home Secretary V K Duggal and asked for an immediate solution to the vexed issue. The CAIT has already given a three-day bandh call from October 30.
Among other demands, the shopkeepers also asked the Central government to approach the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee to extend the relief date to January 31, 2007 from October 31, 2006 for all the categories of traders including those who have already filed affidavits. They also sought implementation of the Master Plan of Delhi 2021 by January 31 next year.
Meanwhile, a day ahead of a meeting of GoM on the issue, Home Minister Shivarj Patil convened a high-level meeting attended by Delhi Lt Governor B L Joshi, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, city Police Commissioner K K Paul and MCD Commissioner A K Nigam to discuss the law and order situation arising out of the court-ordered sealing drive.
"The issue has a human angle associated with it as it involves the livelihood of lakhs of employees and their families. We would like to know, whether the government has thought anything for us. We hope they do something by October 31," said Praveen Khandelwal, CAIT Secretary General, after the meeting with Duggal.
He also talked about loss of revenue by both the Centre and state due to sealing drive. "The Delhi government will lose Rs 3,000-3,500 crore annually whereas Centre will also lose crores of rupees in excise and income tax," he added.