Govt revokes order authorising zero stamp duty for females
Srinagar, Jan 26: Jammu and Kashmir government has revoked an order passed by the Mehbooba Mufti cabinet that provided a reduction in stamp duty to zero in case of property registered in the name of the female members of the family. The order passed by Principal Secretary to the government (finance), Naveen Choudhary, on Friday provides fresh rules and bring the stamp duty for registration on property in the name of female members up to 3 per cent of the market value of such properties. The order stated, “in supersession of all previous notifications, issued on the subject, the government being satisfied that it is necessary to do so in public interest hereby direct that clauses (a) and (b) of Article 18 uncle schedule 1 o the Act, shall be substituted.” In May 2018, former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had passed an order scrapping stamp duty on property registered to female members of the family. At the time, the government had expected the move to have, “far-reaching economic consequences” for the women of J&K. The cabinet approved levying of stamp duty at 5 per cent in the urban areas and at 3 per cent in the rural areas if the property is registered in the name of a male member of the family. The move was passed as an incentive to encourage families to register their properties in the name of their female members. Friday’s order passed under the Governor’s Administration detailed, that where the land or estate is within an urban or rural area, 7 per cent of the market value of such land or area will be levied. Where the land or estate is within an urban or rural area, registered in the name of a female member of the family, 3 per cent of the market value will be charged as stamp duty, and in cases where it is registered in the name of both the husband and wife, 5 per cent of the market value of such land or area will be charged a duty. As per government data, asset ownership in the state is largely dominated by men. Approximately 33 per cent women (ages 15-49) in J&K own a house. The corresponding figure for men is 81 per cent. In cases of land ownership, only about 23 per cent women in the state hold property in their name, while 73 per cent of the men own land. As of 2017, only 18 per cent women aged 15-49 were employed in the 12 months preceding the National Family Health Survey. In comparison 75 per cent men were employed. Female literacy rate in the state is at 56.43 per cent while the Male literacy rate is 76.75 per cent.
Mehbooba calls decision ‘undemocratic’
Srinagar, Jan 26: Former Chief Minister and President Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti has termed the Governor administration’s order of revoking Zero Stamp duty for women as “undemocratic”, stating that the decision taken by an elected government in the state cannot be scrapped by the present dispensation. “There has to be a limit to how far the Governor’s Administration can go. It needs to draw a line for its actions,” Mehbooba said in a statement issued here. She said that her government abolished stamp duty on the sale of property registered in the name of females in the state with an objective to empower women and to improve their social status. Mehbooba said that the asset ownership in the state is largely dominated by men and there are only 23 percent women in the state having land ownership while as mere 33 percent women in JK own a house. However, said Mehbooba, soon after the stamp duty for women was scrapped by her government last year, properties in thousands were registered in the name of women. “The decision had come in praise at the national as well as at the international level as it sought to empower women in the real sense by making them stakeholders in real estate and family property. The revocation of this order by the Governor administration makes no sense at all. I demand that the earlier order should be immediately restored,” Mehbooba said. The former Chief Minister added that women in Jammu and Kashmir have been victims of conflict since decades and the measure taken for their economic and social boost should not have been revoked in such ruthless way by the present administration. She added that the Governor rule is a transitory arrangement and the present dispensation should avoid disrupting the existing laws and procedures in the state.