‘Despotic, Harassing’: Mainstream Parties Slam Property Tax Imposition

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Srinagar: Days after the Centre empowered Jammu and Kashmir government to impose property tax in the Union Territory; several mainstream parties on Saturday sharply criticized the decision terming it ‘despotic and anarchic rule’ aimed to ‘harass’ the people of Kashmir economically.

Lashing out at the BJP led government, its former ally Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) compared the proposed property tax to the exploitative taxation regime during the monarchical rule and said that “dictatorial policies” are being implemented in J&K allegedly at the behest of communal elements to “cripple our economy and enforce asset devaluation”.

“The property tax order smacks of the despotic and anarchic rule the people of this land have witnessed for hundreds of years when we were crushed under the heavy burden of taxation. It is nothing but the revival of that dark, dreadful and disastrous era to which Kashmir’s blood-soaked history is synonymous,” PDP leader Mohammad Khurshed Alam said.

He said that the wounds inflicted by the “unconstitutional, illegal and unnatural” abrogation of Article 370 are still fresh and yet each day new methods are invented to push the people towards the corner.

“Is this the roadmap of Naya Kashmir which the government epitomized in the parliament on August 5, 2019?” he asked.

The National Conference also reached sharply to the imposition of property tax in J&K and said that amidst depressing economic activity and soaring unemployment, the GOI has amended two municipal laws of J&K and given power to the local administration to levy and collect property tax.

“Far from doling out fiscal help and other supportive measures, the government, wants to suck the life and blood of people,” NC leader, as per a party spokesperson said during a meeting at Nawa-e –Subha on Saturday.

“Terming the move as grave injustice, the leaders said the imposition of the property tax, at a time when the economy is reeling under slowdown, will overburden people, who are struggling to make ends meet,” party spokesperson said.

The Jammu and Kashmir unit of Janata Dal United also lambasted government for introducing property tax in the Union Territory.

JDU President, GM Shaheen while addressing a press conference here said imposing property tax is the otherwise name of “harassment” and this will crush people economically who are already suffering immensely due to prevailing situation from past one year.
“Instead of giving respite to the common people, government is dragging them towards hardships. Kashmir has already suffered a lot and now imposition of property tax will be final nail in the coffin,” Shaheen, according to a party spokesperson said.

He said the imposition of property tax will have serious negative repercussions in the future.

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