Posted 15 Jul 2017 03:45 PM

Post successful implementation of GST, J&K Govt is still in dilemma whether to retain or abandon the toll tax levied on vehicles at the Lakhanpur toll plaza.
All the vehicles and goods which enter the state they have to levy toll tax as per the jurisdiction of the excise department of J&K at various points which includes Jammu Tawi railway station, Lakhanpur, Udhampur railway station, Upshi in Ladakh and Lower Munda in Kashmir.
Even after the application of GST, which aims at abolishing the entire extra tax regime, the Government is not ready to abolish the toll tax. Whereas the majority of traders are emphasizing on the abolishment of the tax at Lakhanpur toll plaza and another toll post as it will help traders from outside the state to sell their products with ease. On the other hand, many industrialists are against of following this regime as according to them if there will be interference of outside vendors within the state it will affect their business tremendously.
Govt made all the analysis required in such situation, and have come to a verdict of not removing the toll tax, as it will have an adverse effect on the State exchequer as well as the industrial area, conveyed by official sources.
Sources even mentioned that Lakhanpur toll tax has a total contribution of 900 crores to the State exchequer, which if abolished will put the State’s financial position in jeopardy. As the state lack in resources and is not capable of incurring such high losses.
The Govt also panic of hampering the State’s industry as when outside traders will sell their products directly which will, in turn, put the State’s industry in peril.
Lalit Mahajan, President of Bari Brahmana Industries Association (BBIA), strongly conflicted the abolishment of the Lakhanpur toll tax, he said this will close all the opportunities for the traders and manufacturers within the state due to the interference of outside traders, hence their monopoly will be no more.
One of the higher officials of the Government said that this toll plaza acts as a barrier for the majority of vulnerable items from entering the state and even for smuggling like willow-clefts from J&K to other states.
At one end the abolishment of such tax will open plenty of opportunities for outside traders, as customers will have more choices and a broader spectrum of each item but on the other hand, it will hinder the current financial condition as well as safety measure which will lead to a troublesome situation for our Industrialists. Should it be applicable or should it be not? Is it beneficial for the state or is it a menace?

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