Highway tax akin to fleecing, will further choke Kashmir’s economy: KEA

Srinagar: Terming the imposition of toll tax on south Kashmir highway as “fleecing”, the Kashmir Economic Alliance, Chairman Muhammad Yaseen Khan has demanded its immediate revocation.

In a statement, Khan, who also heads the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, said at a time when toll tax has been declared invalid even on expressways in metropolitans like that connecting New Delhi with Noida, the imposition of such uncalled for tax in turmoil-hit south Kashmir would further choke Kashmir’s economy.

Khan said the imposition of such tax within one region was injustice with the people who have been bearing the brunt of turmoil.

He said such measures would add to the alienation among the people in general and business community in particular.

“At a time when the government is expected to provide incentives to the people for revival of economic activities, such taxes will only add to miseries through such fleecing,” he said.

Khan said such tax was also detrimental for tourism sector and would send a bad signal in the industry. Khan has appealed Governor SP Malik to personally look into the matter and get it revoked.

Earlier, Governor Satya Pal Malik assured that locals would be exempted from paying the tax.

Earlier, traders and transporters staged a protest outside the office of Deputy Commissioner Anantnag demanding that no toll tax shall be charged from common people who are already suffering from prolonged conflict and shattered economy.

On Tuesday, after the imposition of the tax, people protested against authorities and called the tax ‘outrageous’. 

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had said the toll tax levied on the vehicles on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway in South Kashmir, has hit the already economically downtrodden people hard and they should be exempted from the toll tax.

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