JAMMU, Mar 1: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today declared that anti-encroachment drive in Jammu and Kashmir will continue and influential persons and those who held high positions will not be spared as they have not only encroached land for themselves but for their coming four generations. At the same time, he made it clear that no poor person has been touched during the drive and they will not be affected in future as well.He also charged bigwigs who have to pay Property Tax for provoking others, who don’t have to pay the tax, and called upon the people not to fall in their trap.
Sinha made these important announcements while addressing two functions here today.
“There was uproar over anti-encroachment drive. But, not even a single poor person has been ousted from the land. And, in future also, the poor people who have taken some land for their earnings, will not be touched,” Sinha said.
He, however, declared that influential persons and those who held high positions earlier and have grabbed Government land not only for themselves but for their four generations, in violation of law, will not be spared.
“All such encroachments will be removed,” the Lieutenant Governor declared.
He announced that land retrieved from encroachers will be used for building hospitals, schools, play grounds etc.
Referring to imposition of Property Tax, Sinha cited figures to say that the tax imposed in Jammu and Kashmir was just one-tenth from other cities of the country and nearly 40 percent household owners don’t have to pay any tax at all.
“Some persons have houses in New Delhi. I have their photographs also. They pay Rs 50,000 tax in New Delhi but won’t pay in Jammu and Srinagar,” he said, adding those who should pay tax have been provoking others against it.
He called upon the people not to fall into trap of those who are misleading the people.
However, the Lieutenant Governor said, the Government is open to suggestions and if someone has better model of the tax or he thinks that it can be implemented in more better way he is welcome.
“The businessmen, industrialists, Chartered Accountants, journalists are sitting here. If anyone has suggestions and they think it can be implemented in better way, they can give their suggestions. Our doors are open,” he added.
Sinha pointed out that the UT Government has been keeping budgetary provisions of Rs 900 crore for Urban Local Bodies every year. This is in addition to the Central grants.
“We have to see how Jammu and Kashmir can become like other developed States,” he said.
The Property Tax in Jammu and Kashmir is the lowest as compared to other States, Sinha said, adding there are around 5,20,000 houses in cities of J&K and out of them, 2,06,000 houses are less than 1000 sq ft and they have been exempted from purview of Property Tax.
This means 40 percent population is out of Property Tax ambit, he said.
“As many as 2,03,600 houses are less than 1500 sq ft and 80% of these households will have to pay less than Rs 600 per annum. This amount is one-tenth of the tax amount being paid in Shimla, Ambala and Dehradun,” the Lt Governor said.
Also, he added, all religious places have also been exempted from Property Tax.
Nearly 46,000 out of 1,01,000 shops in city areas are less than 100 sq ft and they will have to pay up to Rs 700 per annum. Out of these 46,000 shops, 80% will have to pay a meagre Rs 600 per annum/ Rs 50 per month.
Around 30,000 shops will have to pay taxes below Rs 2000 per annum and out of these, 20,000 will have to pay less than Rs 1500 which is also one-tenth of the amount being paid in Shimla, Ambala and Dehradun, Sinha noted.
“Revenue will directly go into the accounts of Municipalities and Corporations. This step has been taken to make our cities an engine of growth,” he added.
Asserting that entire Jammu and Kashmir administration is working for welfare of the common man, Sinha said the time has gone when the administration here was run at whims and fancies of handful of people with vested interests.
Referring to power scenario, the Lieutenant Governor said Jammu and Kashmir will generate power in three years which couldn’t be generated in last 70 years.
“Presently, we can’t supply power to the people in J&K if we don’t import it from other States for seven to eight months,” he said.