Property Tax Related Issue Evokes Mixed Response
Sana Altaf (Kashmir Times)
Srinagar: After being endorsed by chief minister, the issue of levying property tax in the state is receiving a mixed response from various main stream political parties.
Main opposition party, PDP has adopted a guarded approach. Congress leaders have welcomed the introduction of property tax in the Valley, CPI (M) has opposed the property tax.
Senior Congress leader, Abdul Gani Vakil, told Kashmir Times that the decision of chief minister would be the collective decision of the coalition partner.
“It is a welcome step which would prove beneficial for the state,” Vakil said.
He, however, stressed that it would be better if a provision is introduced for recovering the money from sales tax defaulters.
“The sales tax defaulters owe state over Rs 500 crores. There must be some agency to recovery this huge amount of money,” he added.
As per the media reports, chief minister Omar Abdullah on Friday told planning commission that his government would try to build consensus in the next assembly session over the issue of introducing property tax in the state.
Vice president PDP, Muzaffar Hussain Beig reacted saying if the provisions of the property tax bill, are beneficial for the state, they would favour it in the assembly.
“When any such bill is introduced in the assembly, we would go through it thoroughly. If it’s provision are good we shall favour it, if not, we shall oppose,” Beig revealed.
However CPI(M) member, G.N.Malik revealed that property tax would add burden to common man.
“We oppose property tax for state because it would make people suffer.”
President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Abdul Hamid Punjabi, suggested that government must loop in various stake holders before introducing the bill in the assembly. He stated that government should undertake proper planning and marking of residential and commercial areas before going ahead with the property tax bill.
“If we look at government record, a place which was once identified as a residential area is now commercial too and vice versa. Besides many abandoned places have been converted into residential and commercials hubs. Who shall identify them,” said Hamid.
He adds authorities should identify the residential and commercial places for which the tax would be levied.
“It is only when we have them clearly marked; the property tax can be levied.
Hamid viewed government should discuss the issue with the various business organization; come up with a proper model and confidence building measures.