Women in Jammu and Kashmir have welcomed the decision by the State government to approve zero percent stamp duty on the purchase of property by them.“It’s a welcome step. The move will help women scale up the social ladder in J&K,” said Nazia Ashraf, a businesswoman.The Cabinet on Friday approved to levy a stamp duty of 5% for buyers in urban areas and 3% in rural areas. “However, it is zero percent if the property in both urban as well as rural areas is registered in the name of a female member of the family,” reads the Cabinet decision, approved by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday evening.Earlier, the stamp duty was at seven percent.Ms. Mufti claimed women in J&K, as of now, owned bare minimum immovable assets even after contributing the maximum to the society. “This incentive will encourage families to register their properties in the name of their sisters, daughters, wives and mothers,” said Ms. Mufti.Former finance minister and MLA Rajpora Hasseb Drabu described the government move as a creative way of empowerment by market incentives. “It will help gender balancing of social power relations,” said Mr. Drabu.According to the 2011 census, there are 859 females per 1000 males in J&K and female literacy rate stands at 58.01 percent.
After having faced flak from several quarters for its shoddy state in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games, the Athletes Village on Wednesday drew effusive praise from the head of the Games Federation who described it as the best-ever he has seen.”The atmosphere in Games Village is extremely positive. Representatives are relishing the facilities there, especially the training and practice facilities…the best facilities I have seen anywhere at any Games I have been to so far,” Fennell said at his media conference.In the build-up to the mega event, the Village had come under attack from foreign delegations for the “filthy and unliveable” conditions there.There were complaints about water logging in the basements of apartment blocks and unhygienic living conditions.–with PTI inputs