The Congress Party on Monday criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for imposing service tax on helicopter ride to Mata Vaihsno Devi shrine and dubbed it as ‘Jizya tax’.
“The remarkable and ridiculous reason given is that they want control the number of pilgrims going to Mata Vaishno Devi. A notification was issued by the state government levying a 12.5 percent service tax on helicopter trip to Vaishno Devi. These trips are undertaken by the old and ill,” Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi told media here.
“Is this Mr. Modi’s definition of ‘Jizya tax’ on pilgrims going to Vaishno Devi. Is this BJP-PDP’s contribution of Jiziya tax on pilgrims to Vaishno Devi,” he added.
Earlier, the National Conference (NC) had condemned the PDP-BJP Government’s decision to hike the service tax by 12.5 percent on the trip charges to the Vaishno Devi.
The Finance Department, headed by Haseeb Drabu of the PDP, issued a notification on September 2, asking the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) to impose a 12.5 per cent service tax on pilgrims travelling by helicopter to and fro from Katra to Sanjhi Chhat.
Jizya is the extra tax imposed on non-Muslims who lived under Muslim rule according to the Islamic law.