Jammu: The National Conference (NC) on Monday condemned the PDP-BJP Government's decision to hike the service tax to 12.5 percent on the trip charges to the Vaishno Devi via chopper, and alleged that it was an effort by the latter to take over the Shrine Board.
"It is the most unfortunate act on the part of PDP-BJP Government. This tax is unnecessary and is not going to add much to the state government. It has all the potential to hurt the sentiments of pilgrims. It is a direct confrontation with the faith of the people," National Conference (NC) leader Devendra Rana told ANI.
"We do understand that a covert and an avert effort is going on by the PDP and BJP Government to somehow take over the Shrine Board for their own political ends," he added.
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.