SRINAGAR — Days after the government announced levying of property tax in Jammu & Kashmir, the administration on Wednesday said that the Municipal Corporations and Committees have started passing the resolution to adopt the decision and that the transparency system in the Union territory has no comparison with rest of the country.
In an exclusive chat with the news agency KNO, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, V K Bidhuri, said that the Municipal Corporations and Committees require resources to run the affairs, but presently these Corporations and Committees are generating only 10-15 percent of the revenue and are dependant for rest of the resources. “To ensure better facilities, every municipality requires resources and property tax is the best decision to generate revenue for the wellbeing of the people,” he said.
He added that J&K is the last in the country where the property tax has been imposed, but the government decided to go with a minimum tax. “The rural areas are already out while in urban areas, agricultural land and other falling under the master plan are also exempted,” he said while appealing to people not to pay heed to the sayings, but they should calculate on their own.
“Tax is not being imposed on any individual but it is being levied on a property and people having property on less than 1000 sq ft are already exempted,” he said while replying to a query.
He further said that out of a total of 5.20 lakh residential houses, 40% among them have been exempted as the properties have come up on less than 1000 sq ft. “The tax amount is different in different areas and districts and is being decided as per the circle rate,” he said.
He also said that after the decision was taken in this regard, the municipalities started passing the resolution to adopt the decision.
He added that the tax amount will be used only for developmental purposes in the respective municipalities. He added that the tax will have to remain the same for three years and will be reviewed after three years as per the circle rate.
“The property tax will ensure resources for the development and better facilities for the people and will also bring a sense of ownership among them,” he said.
He added that there is a transparency system in J&K and there is no comparison between J&K’s transparency system with any part of the country. “The transparency system in J&K cannot be found anywhere in the country where even the photos of developmental works are being uploaded,” he said.
Asked about a complete shift to online mode, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir said that the process has already been done and every work is being done through online mode now.
About the smart city project works, he said that the deadline has been squeezed to April and the works are going on at a rapid pace during the day as well as night. “The people will face inconvenience, but the works will be completed on April 15 while carpeting and other related things will be done by April 30,” he said.
Asked about the encroachment drive, he said that retrieving encroached land is their regular activity and the government is responsible for it. “We are duty bound to carry out our anti-encroachment drive for the people. We are re-strategizing it at present, but the poor will not be touched,” he said.
Asked about the completion of the installation of smart meters across Kashmir, he said that the process will be completed in the next two years.