Traders’ body calls for ‘symbolic strike’ against imposition of property tax in J&K
Jammu: The Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called for a ‘symbolic strike’ here on Saturday to protest against the Union Territory administration’s decision to impose property tax.
Announcing the action, Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief Arun Gupta also threatened to intensify the agitation if the notification to impose the property tax is not withdrawn.
The Union Territory administration recently notified the imposition of property tax in municipal areas from April 01. The tax rates will be five per cent of taxable annual value for residential properties and six per cent for commercial properties.
“The decision to impose property tax is the prerogative of a popular government or municipal corporations, committees and urban local bodies… We are opposing the property tax because the stakeholders were not taken into confidence,” Gupta, flanked by Yuva Rajput Sabha chief Rajan Singh Happy and leaders of several other trade bodies, said.
He said the traders’ body was forced to call for the symbolic strike as “the administration is not listening to anyone and are instead coming out with statements to hoodwink the public. The business community is already paying taxes to the government through GST”.
“If the government does not wake up, we will intensify our protest,” Gupta warned.
The strike call has also received backing from the Congress’ Jammu and Kashmir unit, which alleged that the policies of the BJP-led government — including the anti-encroachment drive — are “anti-people”.
“The Congress fully supports the Jammu ‘bandh’ call against property tax, unemployment and other anti-people decisions of the government,” Vikar Rasool Wani, the Congress’ Jammu and Kashmir unit chief, told reporters on the sidelines of an event at the party’s headquarters here.
Wani was taking part in a programme organised to welcome over a dozen political and Panchayati Raj Institution members, mostly belonging to the Democratic Azad Party, into the Congress fold.
Prominent among those who joined the Congress are Riaz Ahmad Sheikh, a senior Democratic Azad Party leader from Doda, District Development Council members Gulshan Ara and Sheikh Muzaffar, and several panches and sarpanches.
“The Congress believes in strengthening the people and will stand with them to oppose any decision that is against their interests,” Wani said, claiming that the public is suffering because of the BJP’s “anti-people” policies.