Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Friday defended the move to introduce property tax in the Union Territory for the first time, saying “people have money for iPhones, data, games but don’t want to pay for services”.
“There is an uproar over the imposition of a nominal property tax in J&K. People need all the services but would not pay for them. All of us need to think again. If affluent people, who have money for iPhones, data and games can’t pay, then a way needs to be worked out,” L-G Sinha said.
Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CCI), Jammu, asked the administration to “keep property tax in abeyance”. “The Chamber is not against the property tax but feels that it is not the right time to implement it. The government is busy in harassing the people of Jammu in one way or the other; every department is open to issue show cause and eviction notices to the business community and now the government has introduced the new tax in the shape of property tax,” Arun Gupta, president of the CCI, Jammu, said.
He said the government was comparing the tax with those States who were already developed. “As far as Jammu is concerned, we are far away from getting even the basic amenities. The representatives of Bazar Associations and Trade Associations have unanimously opposed the decision and were of the opinion that if the government does not withdraw this order then the Chamber should take the lead and call for a Jammu Bandh,” he added.
The Housing & Urban Development Department on Tuesday invoked the J&K Property Tax (Other Municipalities) Rules, 2023 to notify the rules for levying, assessing and collecting property tax in the limits of municipal councils and committees. It has proposed to impose the tax on residential property at 5% and at 6% on non-residential property on the Taxable Annual Value (TAV), from April 1 this year.
Most political parties in J&K have opposed the move.
“The representatives of Bazar Associations and Trade Associations have unanimously opposed the decision and were of the opinion that if the government does not withdraw this order then the Chamber should take the lead and call for a Jammu Bandh”Arun GuptaPresident of the CCI, Jammu