Mumbai stamp paper vendors strike over new rule of mandatory in-person purchase | Mumbai News

MUMBAI: Stamp paper vendors across the city are on an indefinite strike against the new rules issued by the state government which state that those wanting a stamp paper will now have to go in person to buy it and can’t purchase it through a third party.
The new rules also require a person to be physically present to buy a stamp paper from a vendor.
The circular laying out the new rules was issued in February, which were opposed by stamp paper vendors who went on an indefinite strike last week.
There are 29 stamp vendors in Mumbai city and suburban districts.
Earlier, one could buy stamp paper for anyone by producing a valid identification card before the vendor. However, with the new rule in place, vendors said senior citizens, students, differently abled and ailing people will be forced to come and sign in the vendor’s register. Similarly, celebrities will also have to buy stamp papers in person.
Ashok Kadam, president of the Stamp Paper Vendors’ Association, said after negotiations with the state government, out of the three new rules, the department of registration and stamps scrapped two of them. “These rules had stated that stamp papers can’t be sold to any person or institution, like banks, financial institutions, companies or any other establishments, from outside the Mumbai city or suburban districts. They have created a lot of issues as people often travel to Mumbai for work and buy stamp papers here,” he said. “However, the rule of mandatory in-person purchase is still pending. We will continue the strike till this rule is scrapped. They have once again raised the daily limit of sale from Rs 10,000 to Rs 30,000 after our demand.”
Kadam added that the new guidelines don’t come within the purview of the Stamp Act and earlier there was no rule prohibiting sale of stamps to any individual through representatives.
RTI activist Anil Galgali, who has also complained to the state government, said the process to sell and buy stamp papers has been the same since 1982, when stamp paper vending licences were first issued.
“After the strike by vendors, some of the new rules have been scrapped, but the in-person stamp paper buying rule has not been scrapped. The state government had even told the high court that under the provisions of the present rule, a person or institution purchasing sta-mps can do so through another person,” Galgali said.
State officials said that the department of registration and stamps had received complaints of a shortage of stamp papers in various districts and hence, the new rules were issued to ensure that citizens get stamp papers in a transparent and easy way.

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