Roll back enhanced VAT, Toll Tax and Service Tax on pilgrims: Harsh

Lambasting the state govt. for enhancement in VAT and Toll Tax , imposition of Service tax on Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims, as also its disregard in the state budget for concerns of unemployed, underemployed and daily rated workers, the JKNPP today appealed the people to observe a complete shut down on June 4 as a mark of protest against the anti people policies of the coalition govt. Addressing media persons, Harsh Dev Singh Chairman JKNPP and former Minister regretted that whereas the MLAs were seeking enhancement of their salaries besides increase in their discretionary grant of CDF during discussions in the Assembly, the issues of DRWs, Contractual, Anganwari workers, academic arrangement lecturers besides other under employed youth had receded into the oblivion with no takers for the woes of such exploited categories. He deplored that while several BJP MLAs had demanded a four times hike in their salaries, the issues of daily rated workers including regularization and enhancement of wages had been consigned to the dustbin. Likewise, he said the contractual and academic arrangement lecturers were being made to work on paltry honorarium of Rs. 7,000/- per month for the last several years with no mention of their regularization or increase in their emoluments. Condemning the massive hike in the VAT and Toll Tax besides entertainment levy on Satellite, cable TV, he said that the govt. had posed the most menacing threat to the purse of the common man. He lambasted in particular the massive increase in the taxes on milk and milk products including Lassi and Butter, milk, Juices, Frozen foods, Garments. and hosiery goods. He said that not only the state govt.’s budget but the Central govt.’s order effecting hike in the prices in diesel and petrol would further have a cascading effect on the prices of essential commodities thus aggravating the woes of common man. Strongly condemning the failure of the BJP legislators to get the service tax on Helicopter Services revoked, he regretted that the said mandated leaders had miserably failed to represent the cause of the people. He regretted that the Service Tax so imposed by the incumbent govt. would apply not only to the Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims Amarnath JI and Machail Yatra pilgrims as well.

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