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Yanggang Province begins registration drive for new market stalls, commercial shops

The Yanggang Province People’s Committee is registering new market stalls and commercial shops, Daily NK has learned.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source in the province said on Friday that the provincial people’s committee issued an order to city and county people’s committees in mid-March to re-register local market stalls and private commercial shops, and to register new applicants.

The order urged interested people to submit their application or registration fees and business plans – including what they plan to sell – to obtain a service license, as the authorities would allow them to operate as long as they paid their road tax. The city and county people’s committees informed people through the neighborhood offices and the Socialist Women’s Union of Korea.

In the order, the provincial people’s committee said that people could set up stalls not only in fixed places in markets but also on the street, in front of their doors, or even in their homes. However, the registration fee and street tax vary depending on the location of the stall or shop and what the business people sell.

Re-registration of market stalls and shops takes place regularly in March or April each year. However, the source said that accepting registrations for new stalls and shops is unusual.

“In the past, you had to wait a long time to get approval for even a single stall, even if you used your network. So people are surprised when the authorities suddenly tell everyone who wants to do business to apply because they’ll approve the applications,” the source said.

Some question the motives behind the registration drive

People are happy that the people’s committee, which has long cracked down on people doing business at home, is now saying it will allow people to do business at home in peace. But they also suspect that the authorities have ulterior motives.

Some people say the authorities came up with the idea to “secure funds for provincial factory construction, not to make life easier for locals by expanding the scope of service activities,” and that they are trying to “siphon off taxes like road taxes by allowing stalls and shops to open.”

Such talk suggests that the order is aimed at securing tax money to fund North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s “20×10 regional development policy.”

“Some people are keeping alert because they’re afraid that if they register, they’ll be hit with taxes or non-tax burdens to build regional factories,” the source said. “Many people are taking a wait-and-see approach because there may be more registrations later that they can join. Since people can’t afford to buy a stall and just do business on the street if they can, even if the state said it would give them a stall, they couldn’t handle the street tax or rent.”

Meanwhile, residents of Samsu and Kapsan counties are actively trying to register new stalls and shops. The people’s committees of the two counties are encouraging people to register, telling them to “participate with a patriotic heart by drawing up good commercial service plans.”

Translated by David Carruth. Edited by Robert Lauler. 

Daily NK works with a network of sources living in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. Their identities remain anonymous for security reasons. For more information about Daily NK’s network of reporting partners and information-gathering activities, please visit our FAQ page here.

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Read in Korean

April 02, 2024 at 01:00PM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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