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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha unit of BJP on Friday came down heavily on the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) by drawing an equation of its holding tax with the Jizya tax.

Jizya or jizyah is a per capita yearly taxation historically levied in the form of financial charge on permanent non-Muslim subjects of a state governed by Islamic law.

Addressing a presser here, BJP leader Babu Singh alleged that imposing holding tax just like Jizya tax is a conspiracy of the BMC to force additional financial burden on the residents.

"The BMC has forced a major taxation on the citizens called holding tax. It is just like Jizya tax. We strongly condemn the tax system and demand its immediate withdrawal," Babu Singh said.

Singh appealed the city-dwellers  not to pay the holding tax and threatened to launch a massive protest at the ward level against the new taxation system in the coming days.

The reaction of the civic officials on the allegations of BJP could not be obtained.

Notably, any holding within its jurisdiction having clear right, title, interest of the holder is liable to pay Holding Tax. The tax is being calculated at the rate of 17.5 per cent of the annual value of the building taking into account either residential or commercial.

According to official sources, around Rs 43 crore holding tax is pending within the civic body limits against around 800 defaulters. Recently, the BMC has launched a special drive to recover the tax dues.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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