General House Meeting of JMC today all set to be stormy on Property Tax

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 5: The General House Meeting of Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) scheduled for tomorrow is all set to be stormy as almost all the Councillors are up in arms against the ‘levying of Property Tax’ in the newly formed Union Territory of J&K.
“I will bring a resolution against the Property Tax and all the Councillors barring their party politics will support me,” claimed Pawan Singh-a BJP Councillor adding that this is not the right time for such a tax as people are just coming out of COVID crisis.
Echoing similar views another BJP Councillor, Arun Khanna said that they will oppose the Property Tax with full strength as it is against the interests of Jammu people.
Congress Chief Whip, Chowdhary Dwarka Nath when contacted said the authorities are not applying mind in bringing new taxes almost every-day.
He also said that JMC was supposed to conduct at least one monthly meeting to sort out issues of Councillors but conducting the General House Meetings after three-four months is a mess as issues of three-four months can’t be taken up in a single meeting.
Gorav Chopra, Congress Councillor claimed that he has inputs that Property Tax is now rechristened as development tax to avoid public outburst.
“Whatever may be it, we are all prepared to oppose it tooth and nail,” he said adding that the Property Tax is there in big States as municipalities there are well established and have sophisticated machinery even for cleaning drains while here in Jammu the JMC even lacks tools for Safai Karamcharis.
He also said that they will also raise the issue of corruption in JMC.
Rajni Bala, another Congress Councillor said that apart from Property Tax the JMC is not working properly on all fronts.
“There are many works in almost every Ward which are pending for long,” she said adding that there are works for the last two years in her Ward 60 have been pending and she has submitted applications many times in the concerned offices but none paid any heed.
Independent Councillor, Sham Lal Basson too expressed similar views of protesting against Property Tax if a resolution is brought in favour of the Tax.
Another independent Councilor, Sobat Ali said that they will oppose the Property Tax.
JMC Mayor, Chander Mohan Gupta when contacted said they are not imposing Property Tax.
“There are no norms on it yet and even there is no such proposal. We can discuss it tomorrow in the General House Meeting and will work as per decision of the House on it,” he said adding that the Property Tax proposal was passed in 2013 by the then State Government of J&K but it was not implemented then.
However, he said that now the government is making pressure for the implementation of the same.
The Mayor also said that if the Councillors staged a walkout then they will make a Committee on Property Tax.
On not allowing media to cover the proceedings of General House Meeting he quoted pandemic as the reason and said the premises where General House Meeting are conducted are not spacious and social distancing is also to be maintained.
“Next time print media will be allowed,” he maintained.