Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Sunday said that those people, who were paying Rs 5 lakh as property tax in Delhi or Mumbai for their houses or shopping complexes there, were feeling troubled to pay even a nominal amount in J&K and thus were instigating gullible common masses to serve their own ends.
He made these remarks after inaugurating new facilities at the Jammu Club today. Reference to the context was property tax recently introduced by the J&K government.
Setting the record straight about property tax to counter what he said, “misinformation and false narrative being created by few vested interests”, LG Sinha said, “Those, who have constructed big houses, shopping complexes in Mumbai and Delhi, are paying Rs 5 lakh annually as property tax there. But here in J&K, they are not willing to pay Rs 2500 (per annum) as property tax. They are feeling troubled. In such a scenario, how the system will function. These are the same set of people, who are instigating people of J&K to serve their own interests. They are not bothered about the interests of the common masses or their well-being. They have their own axe to grind.”
“That's why I request the people, the youth of J&K in particular, to make their parents understand this simple fact and convince them to pay this tax. It's beyond comprehension that in what circumstances some people had nurtured a mindset here (in J&K) that no tax would be paid to India,” the Lieutenant Governor remarked.
“I would like to alert you that there are few people who want to make you a part of their conspiracy. You don't need to get trapped in this conspiracy. We all are the citizens of India. We utilise the electricity produced or generated by other states of India. It is our duty to act as responsible citizens and share our responsibilities as well and pay for the services which we avail and enjoy,” he said.
“Recently, Property tax has been introduced in J&K. This (property) tax has been in place in every state and the city of the country for quite long now. J&K has become the last Union Territory (or state) in the country to introduce this tax. However, before its imposition, a lot of deliberations were made and due consideration was given to ensure that it should not be a burden to the common citizens economically. I would like to share an important aspect on this account with you that J&K, has the lowest tax rate across the country,," he said.
According to the official spokesperson, while speaking on Property tax, the Lieutenant Governor said, “Jammu Kashmir is the last among the states/UTs to introduce the provision of property tax which is the least as compared to other regions.”
“Out of 5,20,000 houses in urban areas, 2,06,000 i.e., 40 percent houses, which are less than 1000 sq ft are completely exempted. Minimum tax has been imposed on other houses. We have made such arrangements that out of 5,20,000 houses, 4,09,600 houses (80%) will either be totally exempted or will have to pay less than Rs 1000 as property tax annually. Similarly, out of 1,01,000 shops in urban areas, around 76,000 i.e., 75 percent shops are such that they will be paying less than Rs 2000 property tax annually and 45 percent i.e., 46,000 shops out of 1,01,000 shops will have to pay less than Rs 700 tax annually,” said the Lieutenant Governor.
“This is a very nominal amount as compared to other cities of the country like Shimla, Ambala, Dehradun,” he further added.
LG Sinha said that some people were deliberately trying to spread misinformation and create a false narrative.
“We are ready to consider better suggestions and solutions. We will implement genuine suggestions. In every decision that we have taken so far, the interest of the common man and business community has been paramount. Common man has no issue with property tax. Only some special people are troubled by it, who had gathered fortunes for many generations by hoodwinking the common masses of J&K,” he added.
Notably, the Lieutenant had made similar remarks in a separate function at BSF Camp Paloura also.
Earlier after inaugurating new facilities, the Lieutenant Governor congratulated the members of Jammu Club for their immense contribution to cultural and social welfare programmes. He appreciated 3000 members of the Club for working as change agents and the consciousness of the society.
The Lieutenant Governor said, “Amrit Kaal is an opportune occasion to remove all traces of colonial mindset and promote our clubs as a medium for community development and to inspire social change.”
“Administration and citizens have a shared responsibility to build an inclusive & developed J&K. It is time for everyone to introspect because rights & duties are two sides of the same coin. We must pay for services wherever necessary so that UT moves faster on the development trajectory,” the Lieutenant Governor said.
“We are working with dedication, commitment and with a people-first approach to transform the life of the common man. Each one of us will have to play an equally important role to effectively counter the misinformation on property tax and convey the truth and facts to the general public,” he added.
He said, “The society does not progress only because of infrastructure and material comforts, but by discharging responsibilities. We have become the fifth largest economy of the world and under the guidance of the Prime Minister, we are aspiring to become the third largest economy of the world.”
LG Sinha said that the work culture in the administration had been completely overhauled. “Maximum public services have been made online. We are integrating around 32 services into auto appeal mode and a fine will be levied on officials who fail to provide public services in the set timeline,” he added.
J&K was among the states, registering positive growth during COVID. “Rs 1 lakh Cr worth highway and road projects are under execution in the UT. Our health infrastructure is better and we are leading in health parameters on the national level. We are the first to launch Universal health insurance coverage of Rs 5 Lakh to all households of the UT,” said the Lieutenant Governor.
“We have the best industrial development scheme. Land banks have been developed across the UT, besides Land retrieved during anti-encroachment drives will be used for developing infrastructure of various sectors,” he added.
Mukesh Singh, ADGP Jammu; Ramesh Kumar, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu; Gaurav Gupta, honorary secretary, Jammu Club, besides members of Jammu Club were present on the occasion.