J&K parties slam Govt over imposition of property tax, Jammu Bar threatens agitation

Former J&K CM and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said imposition of property tax was part of BJP’s larger agenda of impoverishing people of J&K.

Published: 23rd February 2023 01:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2023 01:15 PM   |  A+A-

Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti

Former Jammu and Kashmir CM and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti. (File | EPS)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The political parties have strongly opposed the imposition of property tax by Lt  Governor administration in Jammu and Kashmir while Bar Association Jammu has threatened to launch agitation if the “anti-people” notification was not withdrawn by the government.

Jammu Bar Association president M K Bhardwaj in a presser in Jammu today termed imposition of property tax by government as “anti-people” move.

He said the government should withdraw the property tax and if it is not withdrawn, then the Bar Association will launch a street agitation to force the government to revoke the order.

Terming the property tax as “tax terrorism”, he said, “If the order is not withdrawn in the next few days, we will give a call next week for protests in Jammu and Kashmir and the whole UT should remain closed against this notification”.

The government has issued notification announcing imposition of property tax in the Municipalities and Municipal Councils of J&K. The residential and non-residential properties have been included in collection of the property tax.

“No Taxation Without Representation”. Why should people in J&K pay state taxes including the proposed property tax when we have no say in how our government is run & no say in the decision making of J&K. We are expected to be mute spectators to all unjust decisions by Raj Bhavan,” tweeted former J&K Chief Minister and NC vice president Omar Abdullah.

Another former J&K CM and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said imposition of property tax was part of BJP’s larger agenda of impoverishing people of J&K.

“Their real aim is to make the people of J&K so poor that they don’t demand anything. This is part of a larger agenda to bury people of J&K,” she said, adding people would have to resist if they want to get rid of these frequent orders.

Another ex J&K CM and DPAP president Ghulam Nabi Azad said J&K’s economy is shattered so people are not in a position to pay property tax at this point of time.

ALSO READ| In a first, property tax to be imposed in J-K from April 1

“J&K is yet to overcome the losses it suffered due to militancy in the last 3 decades. We have an ever increasing unemployment rate, struggling businesses and extremely poor economic climate here. Amidst this situation levying property taxes is not a good decision at all,” he said.

Srinagar Mayor and J&K Apni Party leader Junaid Azim Mattu said imposition of property tax in J&K is ironically violative of municipal empowerment as this has neither been deliberated upon and nor approved by elected ULBs.

“While SMC will explore ways to contest this arbitrary move, I am writing to the Lt Governor seeking a withdrawal of the SO,” Mattu tweeted.

J&K Congress leaders in a joint statement said imposition of property tax is another blow to the already economically & politically distressed people of Jammu and Kashmir.

 “The bureaucratic regime under the command of the central government is harassing the common people by issuing a series of anti people orders,” the party said and sought immediate withdrawal of the order. “All such important decisions should be left to the elected government”.

J&K Apni Party senior vice president Ghulam Hassan Mir  said  the decision should be left to the elected government.

Senior CPI( M) leader Mohamamd Yousuf Tarigami  termed the levying of property tax  as arbitrary and  undemocratic.

“The process of collecting tax and deciding the values of the tax is the sole prerogative of the elected institutions. Levying property tax in absence of an elected government is quite unconstitutional. Even the elected municipal bodies were not consulted,” he said and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the notification.

However, the government defended imposition of property tax saying it will help municipal bodies to generate revenue for better services.

“Better Municipal services are expected to attract more investment and encourage more people to set up businesses in J&K. Revenue generated from Property Tax will be used to improve infrastructure, build new parks and playgrounds and maintain the already existing facilities which will significantly enhance the services provided by Municipal bodies,” said Principal Secretary J&K Housing and Urban Development Department, H Rajesh Prasad.

He said since Property Tax is to be levied annually, it can be paid in two equal installments. “It will not burden the common people. The 10 per cent rebate can be availed by early submission of Property Tax.”


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