Property tax to be used for people’s welfare, better facilities: Govt

Srinagar, Feb 25: The government on Saturday said that imposing property tax is aimed at ensuring better facilities for the people.

Addressing a news conference today at TRC meeting hall here, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir V K Bidhuri, who was accompanied by SMC Commissioner, Athar Aamir Khan clarified that 1/3rd of the population are already exempted from the property tax as their property area is less than 1000 square feet.

He added that the Jammu and Kashmir is last in the country where the property tax is being imposed. “Unlike other places, the property tax is very less. The property tax will be collected from those whose houses are built at more than 1500 square feet,” he said. He also said that the tax to be paid only once in a year.

He added that the collected amount will be used for the people and the amount will remain in the account of corporation and municipal committees only.

Bidhuri further stated that there was no option other than imposing property tax, which would be acceptable to the people, for ensuring better facilities to them.

The SMC Commissioner, while interacting with media persons, said that the tax that would be collected from people from April will be used for better facilities to people. “At present SMC’s revenue is just ten per cent compared to its requirement. This will help in ensuring better services and facilities to the people as the tax cannot be transferred to the central or state government and used for developmental purposes only,” he said.

Meanwhile Jammu & Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday said that implementation of property tax shall be done in consultation with the public and the interests of common citizens will be protected.

In a statement, Sinha said citizens’ welfare is the foremost priority of the government and property tax will ensure the financial self-sustainability of cities and improvement of public amenities in the Union Territory.

“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,” Sinha said.

“Implementation shall be done in consultation with the general public. Common citizens’ interests will be protected,” he added.

It is worthwhile to mention that political parties including NC, PDP, PC, Congress and others are seeking rollback of the property tax.kno

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