Govt Likely to Shun Property Tax Proposal

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Law Minister returns file, shows serious reservations 

SRINAGAR: The state government is likely to defer imposition of much hyped property tax proposal in Jammu and Kashmir at least till elections next year are over.

Sources in the government revealed that the minister for law and parliamentary affairs has raised serious objections over setting up of a board that can levy property taxes.

KNS quoting sources said that Housing Department had mooted a proposal that a board should be constituted till the Municipal Laws Amendment Bill is pending before the joint select committee of Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council.  However, the minister expressed his serious reservations over the matter rejecting the housing department’s proposal. The report said that minister Mir Saifullah later took the issue with the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

Saifullah is believed to have informed the Chief Minister that the imposition of property tax on the state subjects would have serious political repercussions for National Conference and the same should not be approved.

The report further revealed that Omar Abdullah was of the opinion that the property tax proposal needs to be reviewed by the cabinet. 

After the cabinet approval for the ‘imposition of property tax’, the file was sent to the Law Minster for the final nod. “The file was pending in Law Minister’s chamber for more than two months and he did not even discuss the matter,” report quoting sources said.

The law minister when contacted confirmed that the file was pending with him and that he has still not discussed it with his colleagues. When asked for the reason, he said that the government was not willing to trouble the state inhabitants further. “People of the state are already over burdened, how could we agonise them further?”

The political experts across state believe that the rejection of the proposal would be in the context of the coming assembly polls. They further stated that the government cannot lock horns  with its people that too when the polls are very near.

Pertinently, Government in June this year came up with the proposal of imposing property tax to the winter and summer capitals of the state. It had earlier approved the constitution of property tax board, tasked to study property tax models in different states and come up with recommendations for the government.

It was further decided by the government that in the coming time it would  impose the tax on the commercial and residential properties of the state. 

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