J&K only state to miss the boat

J&K only state to miss the boat

Jammu and Kashmir, the only state that failed to meet the June 30 deadline for the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), is now likely to clear the legislation on the indirect tax regime by July 6, state finance minister Haseeb Drabu said on Friday.

The special session of Jammu & Kashmir assembly is set to be reconvened on Monday.

India on July 1 launched the much awaited GST system that is billed as the largest ever tax reform undertaken by the country since independence.

Taking a step towards a democratic opposition of the GST, the local traders have chose to keep their business shut for a day in Agra.

Senior National Conference leader and former Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, who is the former chairman of the Empowered Committee of Finance Minister on GST, said his party is not against the implementation of the GST in the state in principle but the party wants adequate safeguards to protect the fiscal autonomy of the state.

Tax analysts said that there is ambiguity regarding the applicability of GST to J&K.

The FM said, "An efficient system will help in increasing the tax base and check tax evasion".

Earlier, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, on being asked about the Opposition to GST in the Valley, said, "GST will be beneficial for people in Jammu & Kashmir".

Jammu and Kashmir would take a final call on the implementation of the GST regime tomorrow at a crucial meeting of the all-party consultative group where the government would make another attempt to evolve a broader consensus over the issue.

As per Article 370 of the Constitution, the power of Parliament to legislate for J&K is restricted to defence, external affairs, communication and central elections.

The controversy has been simmering in Kashmir since New Delhi's announcement that it was going to roll out the new tax regime.

"To take the country forward this mindset should also become the mindset of a developed economy". "Every Congress Chief Minister supported the GST". He added, "Besides, it will entail amending Section 5 of J&K Constitution which can't be done".

The party accused the government for the "current chaos, confusion and uncertainty" and said a "proper mode" should be adopted for implementation of the GST in the state in view of its special status. "The law must be introduced in an applicable form in the state", he said.


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