Jammu, December 22: Soon after taking over the position, the New state BJP president has promised to make strong efforts to withdraw ‘jaziya’ (Service tax) levied on Vaishno Devi pilgrims.
“This is the main demand of the party. We will take up the issue of withdrawing the tax on pilgrims with the government again,” said Sat Sharma, the new BJP State President and also sitting MLA from Jammu West.
The President made the statement during an interview with a local daily. He further said that the decision to impose service tax of 12.5 per cent on the pilgrims of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine travelling by helicopter was made by State Finance Department on September 2nd this year. He called this an interference in the working of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, an autonomous body managing the shrine.
Not only the members of BJP inside the state but the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also criticised the decision of the state government to impose tax on pilgrims. The Deputy Chief Minister of the State, Nirmal Singh assured the general public as well that the tax will be withdrawn very soon but unfortunately nothing has been done until now. The agenda will now be first on the priority list of party, said Sat Sharma.