Lakhanpur Toll Plaza
Lakhanpur Toll Plaza. Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has given the Jammu and Kashmir traders a reason to celebrate this New Year. On Tuesday, December 31, the centre announced a lift in the state toll tax charged at the Lakhanpur toll post in Kathua district on the entry of goods into the state of J&K beginning January 1, 2020. 

According to a statement released by the J&K government, Finance department on Tuesday, December 31, "In exercise of the powers conferred by the Section 4 of the Jammu and Kashmir Levy of Tolls Act, 1995, the government of Jammu and Kashmir hereby directs that the Toll Post established at Lakhanpur, District Kathua under the provisions of the said Act, shall cease to operate from January 1, 2020. 

Official statement 

Lakhanpur Toll tax

What is the Lakhanpur Toll Plaza tax? 

Traders in J&K have been demanding that the toll tax collected by Jammu and Kashmir government at Lakhanpur entry point in Kathua district be abolished. Traders and industrialists in the state have been opposing the levying of tax on goods on their entry into the state. According to the traders, under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, levying tax other than GST defeats the objective of the one country, one tax rule implemented in the country under GST.

driver walks past parked trucks
FILE PHOTO: A driver walks past parked trucks inside a depot during a nationwide strike in Ahmedabad, India, July 20, 2018.REUTERS/Amit Dave/File photo

The collection of Rs 800 to 900 crore in the name of state toll tax at Lakhanpur toll plaza annually is ultimately to be borne by the common man as this results in unavoidable hike in prices of trade goods. According to the traders, the special status granted to the state should have been used for the welfare of the people and not for collecting taxes under the pretext of state toll tax.