Srinagar, Jan 26:  In a decision that has sent shock waves among women across Jammu & Kashmir, the Governor Satya Pal Malik-led administration in the state has revoked the stamp duty exemption for women for properties registered in name of women, introduced by the Mehbooba Mufti led government in 2018.

An order passed by Principal Secretary to the government (Finance), Naveen Choudhary, on Friday introduced fresh stamp duty rates for both men and women, nullifying the earlier zero stamp duty regime.

Last week, Ziraat Times had published a detailed report on the impact of the earlier Mehbooba Mufti-led government, which suggested a positive social change and across-the-board support for the decision.

Screenshot_20190115-213840According to the new order, the stamp duty for registration on land or estates, in the name of female members, both in rural and urban areas, would now be levied at 3 per cent of the market value of such properties.

For land or estates registered in the name of men, stamp duties would be levied at the rate of 7 percent.

For land or estates registered in the name of both husband and wife, stamp duty at the rate of 5 percent would be levied.

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, Mehbooba Mufti government had said the waiver of stamp duty for females would have, “far-reaching economic consequences” for the women of J&K.

Mehbooba on Saturday lambasted the move and said it negated her efforts toward women empowerment.

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This is what leading lawyers and women’s activists told Ziraat Times about the efficacy of the law.

“As far as empowering women is concerned, all our efforts are negated by the Governor’s recent decision. One fails to understand why my government’s historic decision to levy no stamp duty on property registered in the names of females was revoked,” she said in a tweet.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister also called the Centre’s flagship “beti bachao beti padhao” scheme a hogwash.

“Women contribute the most to the world’s wealth but hardly own any assets. GoIs beti bachao beti padao programme is simply hogwash. Time for them to walk the talk,” she added.

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