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  • Hails UN’s endorsement of scrapping of stamp duty in JK 

JAMMU: Women’s wing head of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Safina Beigh on Wednesday pitched for the greater reservation of women in political and administrative set-up while underlining the pro-women initiatives taken by the Mehbooba Mufti led government in the state. Safina said that the triple talk bill was tabled in the parliament in haste by the NDA and that the federal government should have consulted the muslim clerics and experts of the subject ahead of bringing it to the parliament. “Marriage is civil contract and there wasn’t any need to bring it to the parliament. Even when it was tabled, there should have been more focus on compensation rather than on punishment,” Safina said.

She added that the landmark decision to abolish stamp duty on the sale of properties owned by women in Kashmir was a step towards reclaiming the agency of women. “Women have been the first casualty of turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir. But, for the first time in our history, the state is headed by a woman chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, who has embarked on the mission to enable and empower other women.

The landmark decision to abolish stamp duty on the sale of properties owned by women is one such step towards reclaiming the agency of women. One assessment shows that the decision will reduce costs of assets, in case of purchase by a woman in urban Jammu and Kashmir, by almost seven per cent. It will also encourage Kashmir’s families to register properties in the name of women,” Safeena said. 

 She also hailed the endorsement of the United Nations Women India  about the positive measure taken by the J&K Government to abolish stamp duty on the sale of property registered in the name of females.  She added that nine per cent households in Jammu and Kashmir are headed by women and seven per cent of the population is living in women-headed households. She said that of the total children below 18 years of age, 11 per cent live with a single parent (mostly with mother). On the other hand, female literacy rate is abysmally low at 56.43 per cent while male literacy rate is 76.75 percent. Gross enrolment ratio at the elementary level is 84.9 per cent for boys and 87.2 per cent for girls. In the 16-17 years age group, only 63 per cent girls attend school as against 71 per cent boys.

She said that under the PDP led dispensation, ten thousand women have been federated into self help group and the number of women workers provided employment under MGNREGA are 3.86 lakhs. “It was under Mehbooba Mufti leadership that first time ever JKSRTC had started Women Special Bus Services on various Routes in Srinagar city. Under 'Aasra', all the families including widows and destitute with annual income of below Rs 75000 would are getting free insurance cover and in case of the natural or accidental death or disability of the family’s breadwinner, the next of kin would get Rs two lakh while in case of partial disability of the breadwinner, the next of kin would get Rs one lakh,” Safina said.

She added under the 'Laadli’ scheme, Rs 1000 would be deposited by the government for 14 years in the account of a girl child born after April 1, 2015 to a family whose annual income is Rs 75000 or below and after attaining the age of 21 years, the girl child will get a lump sum amount of Rs 6.50 lakh. Others who were present on the occasion include Surjeet Kaur, R.K Bali, Rafiq Malik,  Neelam Devi, R.P Singh, Ajay Raina, Babbar Mogul, Shakeel Ahmad, General Singh Tara and several others.