Worshipers want state government to restore order | Photo credit: Times Now
- All temples in the state will need to register and pay taxes
- Tax rate set at four percent
- Devotees, right-wing groups angry at the new diktat
New Delhi: Temples in Bihar will have to register and pay taxes. The decision taken by the Bihar State Religious Trust Council sparked strong reactions from right-wing activists and worshipers.
Temples built by individuals in their living quarters and open to the public will also fall within the scope of this new diktat.
The trust set the tax at four percent.
4 percent tax payable
According to the media report, if a temple is located inside the perimeter wall of a house and family members pray there, it will be considered a private or personal temple. However, if a temple is outside the perimeter wall of a house or house where more than one family worships and makes offerings, then it will be considered public.
The rule requires every public temple to register, and once registration is complete, a tax of four percent of total income must be paid.
The imposition of service charges on the temples has infuriated worshipers as several temples are being built in residential premises.
Congress and AIMIM blasted the Nitish Kumar government for the move.
“Not a tax but an annual service charge”
Speaking to Times Now, Tulsayan Saigal, deputy superintendent of the Bihar State Board of Religious Trusts, said it was not a tax but an annual service charge.
Kameshwar Chaupal, member of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust, attacked the state government for the new tax policy regarding the name service fee and equated it with the Jizya tax.
The Mughal emperors took Jizya from the non-Muslim citizens of the territory instead of military service.
While Akbar abolished it in 1579, Aurangzeb decided to re-impose ‘Jizya’ on non-Muslim subjects in 1679.
BJP national spokesperson Sanjay Mayukh, Environment and Forestry Minister Neeraj Kumar Singh Bablu and BJP MP Lalan Paswan also expressed reservations on the matter.