THE Suva Retailers Association has welcomed the decision by the Suva City Council to keep city rates constant this year.
SCC made public yesterday that there would not be an increase in city rates with special discounts offered for the public.
Association president Himmat Lodhia said the stagnant rate was a relief to businesses in the Central Division.
"We welcome the move not to increase city rates this year. We hope this will remain for the next six years," Mr Lodhia said.
He said there was a huge increase in the city rate last year and the decision not to increase it this year was good news for many.
In a statement, SCC special administrator Chandu Umaria said a 15 per cent discount would be offered at the beginning of the year until end of the month.
He said a 7 per cent discount would also be offered next month when all arrears were paid in full.
"We thank all ratepayers who have paid their rates in full and we request all defaulters to pay their dues in full immediately as appropriate action will be taken against defaulting ratepayers," he said.
While welcoming the rate, Mr Lodhia also advised ratepayers to pay their dues on time.
"The public should expect an increase in services from businesses after the announcement," he said.
Mr Lodhia said the council had done its part to assist the ratepayers but it was up to them to deliver quality service to the public.
Meanwhile, ratepayers will receive the Rate Demand Notice 2013 and Garbage Fees Demand Notice 2013 effective this month.
SCC acting chief executive officer Bijay Chand said they had resolved to bill the notices separately to avoid any confusion with ratepayers.
Mr Chand said the Suva Garbage Disposal By-Laws was implemented in 2010 and now in effect.
He advised business operators that the renewal of health licences for 2013 was due.
He also warned operators that any conduct of such business without a valid health licence would result in legal proceedings initiated against the business operator or proprietor.