GST will not dilute J&K's constitutional position: Drabu

Lydia Fleming
July 1, 2017

The Government made a decision to resume the Assembly Session on July 4 to seek concurrence of the State Legislature for the implementation of uniform tax regime, a pre-requisite for application of any Central law in Jammu & Kashmir in the backdrop of its special constitutional position.

The APCG, headed by former deputy Chief Minister and senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig, has again called a meeting this afternoon to reach any consensus on the implementation of the GST.

In occupied Kashmir, amid growing chorus against Goods and Services Tax (GST), Kashmir's prominent trade bodies and civil society members have threatened to launch a civil disobedience movement if the puppet regime goes ahead with implementing the new tax law. The President of the Federation, Nazir Ahmad Shah, said that the GST was anti-people tax regime which would rob Kashmir of its special status.

The traders have also shown concern over the rollout of the GST in Jammu and Kashmir.

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He said that the existing tax regime had lacunae which allowed the possibility of evasion.

Ruling out the possibility of a fiasco post GST roll out, Jaitley further said that there might some minor glitches in the beginning but with time the process will smoothen up. "While constitutional amendments are ipso-facto applied to all other states, these can not be extended to J&K until and unless the state government gives its concurrence", he said. But is the J&K government even capable of modifying an amendment of the Indian Constitution? The situation, he said, is fragile and we don't want social chaos which ultimately impacts our economy.

"I don't see much of a problem".

The separatists, on the other hand, have accused Drabu, of "showing loyalty to Nagpur" by seeking to implement the "RSS agenda" on Jammu and Kashmir.

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"The State, once stripped of its power to decide on the imposition of tax - an important component of its sovereignty, shall lose, whatever is left of its autonomy", the group said in a statement.

Jammu and Kashmir finance minister Haseeb Drabu had said on Wednesday that anything can "spark off" in valley. The Constitution amendment provides that petroleum products can be taxed under GST as and when GST Council decides.

He added, "Besides, it will entail amending Section 5 of J&K Constitution which can't be done".

It will overhaul India's indirect tax system by consolidating an untidy patchwork of local and central duties into a single levy, make the tax administration more efficient and turn India into a common national market by removing fiscal barriers among states.

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Presenting the government's view, Drabu said it will ensure adequate safeguards for protecting the special constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir as enshrined in Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

Other reports by Info About Network

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