SRINAGAR, July 14: Strife weary residents of Jammu and Kashmir state for the first time may have to pay tax on commercial and residential properties, a move that could further dent the image of state’s coalition government.
Omar Abdullah, the youngest ever chief minister of the state, has already been facing a lot of criticism over power shortage and rampant corruption in the state.
Abdullah on Friday told the Planning Commission that his government would try to build a political consensus in the next assembly session over the issue, according to a source who was present in the meeting, where Plan panel deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia finalized Rs 7,300 crore annual plan outlay for the state for financial year 2012-13.
“The CM was asked to introduce stamp duty in the state,” The Ecomonic Times quoted a source as saying.
“The introduction of house and property tax will be a disaster for this government which is already facing lot of critism over mis governence,” Manzoor Ahmad, a business man said.
Though violence involving militants and security forces has declined considerably, the economic activity of the region has just picked up.
Advising the state to improve resources of revenue, the plan panel pointed out that tourism sector holds tremendous potential to boost economic activities in the state since it generates both direct and indirect employment.
Promotion of heritage, adventure, pilgrim and eco-tourism should also receive attention, the panel said.
Briefing the Commission on the strategy for the 12th plan, Abdullah said that enhanced and inclusive development is a key component of the overall strategy to build on peace dividends.