Shops operating from local markets in ‘commercial zones’ in south Delhi will not get any relaxation in conversion charges.South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) commissioner Puneet Goel on Monday said no exemption in conversion charges would be given to shopkeepers running establishments in these ‘commercial use zones’. ‘Use conversion charge’ is the amount paid for misuse of residential complexes for commercial purposes in local markets.Referring to a series of correspondence with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the ministry of housing and urban affairs in the last two months, Goel said, “It has been finalised that no rebate will be given to commercial plots in local markets from the payment of use conversion charges, except for ground floor. Earlier, traders in prominent markets had refused to pay use conversion charges, referring to the amendment (section 5(C)) of Delhi Master Plan, which said local markets under ‘commercial use zone’ are not liable to pay conversion charges.”“But we have sorted out ambiguities around this clause with DDA and have written to the MOHUA (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs) on this matter,” he said. The move followed allegations made by Congress councillor Abhishek Dutt about the civic agency ‘secretly’ pursuing the DDA and UD ministry to make changes in the amended master plan 2021. A senior DDA official said the matter has been sorted. “All local markets built as per standard plans of local bodies are bound to pay the ‘use conversion charges’ irrespective of their commercial status,” the official said on the condition of anonymity. There are about 53 local markets that fall in the ‘commercial use zone’ category, SDMC said. Trader associations of these markets such as Defence Colony, Greater Kailash II and Sunder Nagar now plan to seek judicial intervention on the issue.Rajesh Goel and Ajay Gupta, members of the federation of local shopping complexes, said, “How can a clarification supersede a gazette notification. Our market has been mentioned as designated ‘commercial complexes’ in the layout plan”. Shopkeepers claimed their plots are commercial in nature and the civic agency can’t ask them to pay “use conversion charges” forcefully.