Jammu and Kashmir’s business community has demanded immediate rollback of increase in taxes of petrol and diesel recently imposed by state government, terming the hike as “undue and irrational”.
The business community in the state has accused the state government of “inflicting miseries on people” of JK who have yet to recuperate from aftermath of September floods.
The chambers, business associations from both provinces of the state, Jammu and Kashmir, have flayed the state government for increasing the rate of tax on petrol and diesel.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has increased the rate of tax on sale of motor spirit and diesel by four percent each. Earlier the rate of tax on petrol was 20 percent which is 24 percent at present. Similarly, for diesel the rate of tax is 16 percent now, as against 12 percent earlier.
The increase in tax rate means the price of petrol and diesel has gone up by Rs 2.20 and Rs 1.76 in J&K respectively. Diesel is now sold at Rs 53.27 a litre and petrol Rs 72.76 a litre.
Talking to us, Chairman Kashmir Economic Alliance, Muhammad Yaseen Khan said that government has failed to deliver on its promise of rehabilitating and providing financial package to flood affected people.
“This government came to power on the promise of rehabilitating the flood affected traders as well as people who lost their houses due to devastating deluge of September, but ten months since the floods hit Kashmir, the same ministers who were giving lectures on ways to revive the state’s economy from losses it suffered due to floods, are now busy inflicting bruises on the beleaguered flood sufferers,” he said.
“BJP which is the partner of PDP in JK, is showing cold shoulder to its alliance partner in New Delhi,” Khan said adding that increasing taxes was uncalled for.
“The state government itself is admitting that JK is passing through liquidity crisis, at the same time the state is increasing taxes which further push inflation and burden common people whose purchasing power has received a setback,” Khan added.
President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sheikh Ashiq criticized the state government saying the hike was irrational.
“It is reflective of the wrong policy of the government that it has increased the taxes on petrol, diesel knowing full well that people have suffered immense losses during the recent floods.”
President Jammu chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rakesh Gupta told over phone that finance department has taken an “irrational decision which would have serious ramifications on state’s economy.”
“The state government is arguing that they have taken the decision to rationalize taxes, but on certain items where VAT is much higher, government has not reduced the rate on such items which clearly shows the insensitivity of state government,” he said.
Gupta added that increase in rate of tax would push inflationary pressure and burden common people.
Increase in rate of taxes on petrol and diesel has come under severe criticism from political parties in the state as well.
The orders in this regard was issued by Navin K Choudhary, Commissioner Secretary, Finance Department, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Jammu and Kashmir Motor Spirit and Diesel Oil (Taxation of Sale) Act and in supersession of notifications SRO-118 dated April 1, 1999 and SRO-3 dated January 27, 2000.
However as per official data available with us, people in Kashmir are charged Rs 18.2 a litre as tax including Rs 3 as cess per litre.
On diesel, imported at Rs 43.97 a litre, the price has gone up by Rs 9.3 a litre including Rs 1 per litre Cess, after imposition of various taxes. Post taxation the price of diesel in Kashmir has gone up to Rs 53.27 a litre and petrol Rs 72.76 a litre.