Srinagar: Criticizing finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather for his ‘anti traders’ directive, Kashmir Traders Federation (KTF) Tuesday said Valley based traders are being harassed by the tax officials at Lakhanpur and Lower Munda.
President KTF Jan Mohammad Koul in statement said that finance minister despite admitting that tax collection has improved has directed Commercial Taxes Department to be tough with the traders. He said the directive has given tax officials a handle to harass the valley-based traders.
“The statement was giving by finance minister, where he admitted the increase in the tax collection but on the other hand he impressed all the officers of the commercial tax department to deal more severely with the business community,” Koul said.
Koul said 31500 traders have been fined to the tune of Rs 31 crores ‘forcefully’.
President KTF Haji Jan Mohammand Koul said that if such a huge amount is recovered as penalty from traders what profit they are left with. “Such brutal example of exploitation and harassment can not be seen in other states. He alleged that on information and direction of certain elements the goods and vehicles, particularly Kashmir valley businessmen are stopped on pretext of physical verification and checking for several days and huge amount of money is grabbed from them as pretext of penalty.
Koul according to the statement was speaking at a meeting of KTF regarding daily problems faced by business community especially the overindulgence by the commercial tax department.
“The amount deposited as tax to government by the traders stands at Rs. 9,625 crores. In total discrimination it has been shown that the above said amount Rs. 9,625 Crores, in which Rs. 7,118 Crore have been shown as collected from Jammu whereas only Rs. 2,507 Crore from Kashmir,” Koul said, adding, while 70 percent of the goods are consumed in the Valley, how can Jammu pay more tax.
“According to the figures given by multinational and national companies the 70 percent goods are consumed in Kashmir Valley and rest of 30 percent are consumed in Jammu and Ladakh Divisions,” Koul said.
“This shows total discrimination towards Kashmir valley, especially the business community and the common people’s efforts and hard work is looked down and foreseen and other parts of J&K are given special considerations.”
The meeting was held at head office KTF at Lal Chowk and was attended by different market committees and leading businessmen and taxpayers of the Kashmir valley, chief spokesperson Aijaz Shahdhar said.
He said, deep anguish was shown on this issue by all the members who attended the meeting.
President KTF Haji Jan Mohammand Koul has appealed all the trade federations to join hands together for this common cause to fight for the justice for the business community so that they can take a sigh of relief.