Govt generates Rs 7.48 cr as tax on Mata Vaishnodevi pilgrims

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Jan 31: Despite `weak opposition’ by the BJP, the J&K Govt has generated Rs 7.46 crore revenue through service tax imposed on Shri Mata Vaishnodevi pilgrims using helicopters.
Responding to the question of Rani Gargi Billoria in the Legislative Council, the Government in the writer reply has said that in view of the resources position of the State and consequent need to boost the revenue of the State, Sales Tax has been levied on use of commercial helicopter by the pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishnodevi, under J&K GST Act, 1962 with effect from September 2015.
It further revealed that the revenue generated from the Sales Tax on helicopter service run for pilgrims of Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Katra, is Rs 7.48 crore for the year 2016-17. During the year 2015-16, service tax to the tune of Rs 77 lakh was generated through yatris using helicopters for the pilgrimage to the Holy shrine.
It is pertinent to mention here that the BJP, the coalition partner of PDP in the Govt had opposed the decision of the Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu. Several Jammu based political parties and groups had also opposed the imposition of this tax on the pilgrims but later BJP leadership from Jammu and its ministers as well, succumbed to the PDP leadership on the decision.