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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Congress on Tuesday threatened to gherao the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) office on March 15 if the revised holding taxes levied on the residents of the city are not withdrawn.

Hundreds of Congress activists led by district president Biswajit Das and others staged a demonstration at Master Canteen Square today over hike in the holding taxes. Vehicular traffic on the busiest roads in the Smart City was adversely hit due to the demonstration.

The Congress leaders alleged that Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation is collecting holding and property tax from citizens almost 10 times higher than the previous rate.

“The holding and property tax has been hiked by 10 times of the existing slab. A resident, who was earlier paying Rs 100, is now being forced to pay Rs 1000 as taxes. Already the people are facing lot of difficulties due to Covid-19 pandemic and the hike is holding and property tax will impact everybody,” said Congress MLA Suresh Routray.

Earlier the BJP had also opposed the hike in holding taxes by BMC. The saffron had compared BMC’s holding tax with ‘Jizya tax’ levied on non-Muslims.

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 on March 5, 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.

(Edited By Ramakant Biswas)

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