Srinagar: National Conference on Friday expressed dismay over imposition and charging of property tax by Cantonment board in Srinagar Areas under its jurisdiction saying the people are in dire straits and lack the capacity to pay the tax.
Expressing concern over the new wave of anxiety created among people by the property tax notices being served to people by the cantonment, Party Youth leader Ahsan Pardesi castigated the cantonment authorities on pressurizing the people to pay exorbitant property tax.
“Prevailing condition of people is not conducive for levying taxes as the local economy and individual incomes have suffered major reverses since the 2014 deluge, the condition was further compounded by the subsequent tumultuous situation, and series of Clamp down and Covid-19 induced lock down. The measures have panicked the middle and lower middle class families in the entire stretch of Srinagar falling within the jurisdiction of cantonment. What is adding salt to the wound is the unilateral evaluation of properties and assessment of the amounts to be paid,” he said.
It is uncalled for to ask people to pay taxes amidst sulking economy and high rates of unemployment, he said adding that the government had already decided not to levy property tax in Civil areas earlier. “Why are people living in cantonment areas being singled out and discriminated upon? When in current times banks are re structuring loans how can anyone think of property taxes. Till board members were there, nothing of this was initiated. Just after the board got disbanded, the cantonment authorities thought of such unwarranted act,” he added.
He urged the defense ministry to take cognizance of the matter and put a halt on the exercise to ensure that local populace does not suffer on any account.