Traders Being Harassed by State Tax Dept at Lower Munda, Lakhanpur: KTA

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 2/21/2021 12:35:47 PM

'People without FASTag made to pay Rs 360 to cross toll'

SRINAGAR, Feb 20: The Kashmir Trade Alliance on Saturday said that they were facing discrimination and harassment at the hands of the State Tax Department.
President Kashmir Trade Alliance AjazShahdhar said they were receiving complaints from several traders that they were being harassed.
“We are anguished over the harassment of traders by autocratic officials of the State Tax Department at Lower Munda Check Post and Lakhanpur. The KTA has got frequent complaints from traders regarding the harassment by the officials at these posts,” said KTA president AjazShahdhar.
Giving details of the harassment, Shahdhar said: “The officials of the said department are seizing the loaded trucks of traders at Lakhanpur&Lower Munda. These loaded trucks are halted for hours together in the name of physical verification and subsequently fines are levied, which has caused a lot of anxiety among traders.”
He said only the traders of Kashmir valley were facing this discrimination.
“These officials have no sympathy with the traders of the Valley even as they are aware of the economic problems we have been facing for years now. We are being forced to pay undue penalties and this sort of discrimination does not exist in other states. This is the pinnacle of discrimination,” said Shahdhar.
It is pertinent to mention that as the FAST Tags becomes mandatory the chaos continues to prevail at the toll plaza in Chachkoot area of Pulwama for the last four days.
Drivers from different areas of Kashmir said that those who haven't availed FAST Tags facility are paying two times the toll than they used to pay earlier.
They said that the government claimed that FAST Tags will save their time, however, so far everything is going on in the opposite way as it takes hours to cross the toll plaza due to a traffic jam.
They also said that authorities at the toll plaza have started charging extra on the name of FAST Tags which needs to be checked.
A government employee wishing anonymity said that due to busy schedule, he wasn't able to avail FAST Tags facility which leads him to pay Rs 360 every day.
"It is sheer injustice, I don't burn petrol of Rs 360 per day but have to pay the toll tax of the same amount," he said.
Locals living within the radius of 20 km who were exempted to pay toll fee also said that they have to pay Rs 360 even if they are crossing toll plaza to visit neighbouring village.
People who are trying to get the FAST Tags facility also said that they have to wait for hours to get this facility due to the huge rush.



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