Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Left no stone unturned in building consensus: Jaitley on GST rollout

Jaitley writes to Mehbooba over delay in GST rollout FM urges JK to implement GST from Jul 1
Sammy Stanley | 01 July, 2017, 00:43

The People's Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government is pushing for a consensus over the bill as Jammu and Kashmir is the only state yet to pass the law for rolling out GST.

Meanwhile, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation ( KTMF) has called for a complete shutdown in the occupied territory, tomorrow (July 01), the day the Indian government is planning to implement GST in India.

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 Goods and Services Tax (GST) will roll out in the country at midnight but Jammu and Kashmir is the only state which will fail to keep date with it.

"Apart from safeguarding the special constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir, we will also factor in administrative, legislative and other safeguards under the new tax regime", Drabu told reporters, here.

The biggest beneficiaries of this change would be the consumer, and the consumer states will be benefitted the most, instead of manufacturing states getting the cream under Sales Tax and VAT regimes, he asserted. Terming it a historical moment he said after GST it would be easy to do any business without bothering about the series of taxes. "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. We can not compromise on fiscal autonomy and let the tax base shift to the centre.

He accused the BJP government of imposing demonetisation decision on common man and said that high GST tax slab on common use items will break the back bone of poor and middle class families. "It is in the interest of the state and consumers and traders", he said. "Can it happen? I do not think so". However, CPI (M) and some other opposition MLAs and leaders participated in the meeting, demanding safeguard of the financial and political autonomy of the state.

The government recently set up an all party consultative group under senior PDP leader and former deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Beig who has served also as finance minister in a previous PDP-Congress government.

He added, "Besides, it will entail amending Section 5 of J&K Constitution which can't be done". The state enjoyed special status under article 370 and draws its taxation powers from its own constitution.

Even though GST would be rolled out on July 1, J&K is most likely to miss the deadline and the state government may have to make further efforts to avoid any chaos.

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