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January 26, 2019 10:53 pm

Guv Can’t Scrap Decision Taken by Elected Govt: Mehbooba

SRINAGAR — A day after the Governor’s administration reversed erstwhile PDP-BJP Government’s decision by which stamp duty on registration of land anywhere on the name of women was fully exempted, Former Chief Minister and President Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti termed the termed the move “undemocratic.”

In a statement issued here, Mehbooba said that the decision taken by an elected government in the state cannot be scrapped  by administration headed by the governor Satya Pal Malik. 

“There has to be a limit to how far the Governor administration can go . It needs to draw a line for its actions,” Mehbooba said.

She said that her government abolished stamp duty on the sale of property registered in the name of females in the state with an objective to empower women and to improve their social status. 

Mehbooba said that the asset ownership in the state is largely dominated by men and there are only 23 percent women in the state having land ownership while as mere 33 percent women in J&K own a house. 

However, said Mehbooba, soon after  the stamp duty for women was scrapped by her government last year, properties in thousands were registered in the name of women.

“The decision had come in praise at the national as well as at the international level as it sought to empower women in the real sense by making them stakeholders in real estate and family property. The revocation of this order by the Governor administration makes no sense at all. I demand that the earlier order should be immediately restored,” Mehbooba said.

The former Chief Minister added that women in Jammu and Kashmir have been victims of conflict since decades and the measure taken for their economic and social boost should not have been revoked in such ruthless way by the present administration.  She added that the Governor rule is a transitory arrangement and the present dispensation should avoid disrupting the existing laws and procedures in the state. 

A notification was issued by the Finance Department, ordering imposition of 3 percent stamp duty on the market value of land and area in both urban and rural areas if the land was registered on the name of a female member of the family.

The stamp duty has been fixed at five percent of the market value of land or estate within urban or rural areas if registered jointly in the name of husband and wife, the SRO said.

Prior to PDP-BJP Government’s SRO 219 of 2018, which had exempted stamp duty on purchase of land on women’s name and fixed five percent duty if the land was purchased on the name of male members, the stamp duty was seven percent in urban areas and five percent in rural areas. However, women were given 25 percent concession if the land was registered on their names.

Anti-People Decision: Bukhari

Former finance minister Syed Altaf Bukhari has censured the government decision of revoking Zero Stamp duty for women in Jammu and Kashmir.

Bukhari said in a press statement: “The notification issued by the Governor led administration on January 25, 2019 has justified its decision taken in the public interest. But my question is how can an anti-people decision be taken under the garb of public interest?”

The former finance minister said that the Governor led administration must go through the contours of the cabinet decision which had resulted into abolition of stamp duty on the sale of property registered in the name of females in the state.

 “The Zero Stamp duty decision was taken by the cabinet to improve the socio-economic condition of females in Jammu and Kashmir and the same was applauded by one and all in the country,” Bukhari remarked.

He demanded urged the Governor to immediately rescind this order in the interest of public and especially for the female folks of the state who so far have been suffering for not being direct stakeholders in real estate and their family properties.

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