J&K Govt Rules Out Charging Of Tax On Vaishnodevi Pilgrims

J&K Govt Rules Out Charging Of Tax On Vaishnodevi Pilgrims

4 April 2012
Times of India


Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir government today ruled out charging of tax on pilgrims for the cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi in Trikuta hills of the state. Minister of State for Finance Manohar Lal Sharma told the Legislative Council that it is not correct that Katra Municipal Committee is charging tax from pilgrims for Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine but it has imposed tax on the amount payable on account of hiring the services of mules, mazdoors and dandi. Replying to a calling attention motion by Jugal Kishore, the Minister said the amount collected is an important source of revenue for the municipal committee of Katra and is used for various developmental activities and providing myriad civic services, including sanitation and solid waste disposal. The Minister said the Katra municipal committee, as per the powers vested with it under section 77 sub-sectors of the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Act Svt 2008 and with prior approval of the Government, has imposed a tax at 12 percent on prescribed rates on hiring the services of mules, mazdoors and dandi with effect from April 1, 2001. Even though the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Act, 2008 has been repealed and replaced by the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Act, 2000, the proviso to section 311 (1) (d) protects all the actions taken or the orders issued pursuant to the earlier Act, he said.