J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has launched a massive public outreach on the imposition of maiden property tax in the Union Territory (UT), saying “implementation shall be done in consultation with the general public”.
“Our cities must witness rapid development and emerge as engines of growth. For that, financial self-sustainability of cities is necessary. Property tax in J&K will be one of the lowest in the country and will be used for improving public amenities in J&K. Implementation shall be done in consultation with the general public. Common citizens’ interests will be protected,” L-G Sinha said.
All deputy commissioners have been directed to engage locals and post videos to raise awareness regarding the property tax, which has been opposed by both the political class as well as traders in the UT given the economic condition and unemployment in J&K in the past few years.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, V.K. Bidhuri, while interacting in Srinagar, said the property tax is very less and will be collected on houses built on more than 1000 square feet. “The collected amount will be used for the people. The amount will remain in the account of corporation and municipal committees only,” he said. Mr. Bidhuri said imposing property tax was the only option to ensure better facilities for them.
Meanwhile, protests by political parties against the imposition of property tax continued on Saturday. Members of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Srinagar and members of the J&K Shiv Sena in Jammu held street protests against the tax.
“It’s not about poor or rich. All are facing issues like terrorism, inflation, unemployment, economic crisis etc. in J&K. The L-G should not put extra burden. Property tax should be rolled back,” Manish Sahni, president of the J&K Shiv Sena, said.