BJP flays Drabu for equating leisure tourism with pilgrimage

Says it will not accept decision to impose tax

The state unit of the BJP today flayed Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu for his “adamant attitude” over imposing tax on chopper services to the cave shine of Mata Vaishno Devi in Katra.

BJP flays Drabu for equating leisure tourism with pilgrimageThe party also lambasted the minister for equating leisure tourism with the pilgrimage.

Stating that the party has conveyed its resentment in strong words to the state government on the issue of imposing surcharge on helicopter services to religious places, chief spokesperson for the state BJP Sunil Sethi said: “The party will never accept any such decision which is directly related to the sentiments of the people of the state.”

“From day one, we have been opposing this controversial decision and the party is firm on its demand for its withdrawal,” Sethi told reporters.

He said the party neither endorsed nor accepted the recent decision of the state government to impose 12.5 per cent service tax on the helicopter services to Vaishno Devi, Amarnath, Shiv Khori, etc…as people visited these places to seek blessings and not for fun.

He insisted that religious pilgrimage could not be linked to leisure tourism.

“The BJP also rejects the justification of Finance Minister that the religious pilgrimage is also part of tourism,” Sethi said, adding that the party’s stand had been conveyed to its ministers, who too were keen on taking up the issue within the government and push for the withdrawal of the controversial order in the interest of the people.

The Finance Minister, on Tuesday, had defended his decision to impose tax on chopper services.

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