Amit Bajaj, Advocate
Jammu and Kashmir government said on 10th June, 2010 that Rs 2,000 would be charged as entry fee per vehicle carrying pilgrims to the cave shrines of Mata Vaishnodevi and Amarnath for a period of 3 days.
According to a notification issued by the government under Jammu and Kashmir Motor Vehicle Taxation Act, 1957, the vehicles carrying passengers to Mata Vaishnodevi Yatra would be charged Rs 2,000 at entry point for a period of 3 days and after that Rs 2,000 will be charged per day.
Similarly, the vehicles carrying people for Amarnath Yatra will be charges Rs 2,000 at the entry point for a period of 7 days and after 7 days Rs 2,000 would be charged per day.
I feel such tax should not be imposed on the pilgrims, the pilgrims will help increase revenue of the state anyways, but increasing revenue by imposing such tax is not a good idea.
I don’t understand what can be the purpose of such tax (the government have named it as entry fees). It seems to me as violative of fundamental right of freedom of religion.
Taxes are imposed for the welfare of Public at large. But taxes should not be confiscatory in nature so as to become violative of the purpose for which it is imposed.
The govt may take plea that it’s imposed for the welfare of the pilgrims and to provide some facilities to them or for maintenance of the pilgrimages. No such tax exists in any other state in India on visit to any other religious place. Tax seems to be discriminatory to minor community in the state.
The state of J&K has imposed Rs 2000 on every vehicle carrying pilgrims for 3 days for Yatra to Vaishnodevi and for 7 days on Amarnath Yatra. I think it’s too much and would discourage the poor people from visiting the pilgrimages.
Such tax should be opposed and be removed
Note: The views expressed are only personal views of the Author