Published: Thu, July 06, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Naeem moves GST Resolution in LC

Naeem moves GST Resolution in LC

The legislative assembly of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday passed the resolution to adopt the implementation of Goods and Sevices Tax (GST) after turbulent rounds of debates and heated arguments between the lawmakers in the special assembly session that lasted for four days.

While the concern of the opposition and the trade bodies' committee seems to be similar, now that the GST has been indeed implemented in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the question remains, how will they react to it and cope with the tax reform.

Before the resolution was adopted, opposition members of the National Conference, Congress and independent legislators made speeches in which they asked the government to not compromise the state's powers of levying and collecting taxes granted under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

J&K finance minister attempted to salvage the situation in the morning reassuring the opposition, while tabling the "modified" GST resolution, which he claims will not compromise the special status of the state in any way. Congress MLA Nawag Rigzin Jora said Section 5 of the state constitution gives the powers to the state for framing laws, including tax laws. The government missed the June 30 deadline to pass the GST in the state assembly.

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They further stated that we are against this new law in which they talk about one India, one tax. "It will open a Pandora's Box that will have implications on J&K's special constitutional position".

However, National Conference leader, Devender Rana, not impressed with the government's explanations stated that if the "right decision" was not taken, even the husk of the article 370, ensuring special status to J&K would not remain. "The exports have also halved with only 150 truckloads of goods moving from J&K to other states. We wanted a consensus on the issue".

Reacting to the demand of opposition to bring a separate GST law for J&K, Drabu said alternative law will require amending constitution of J&K and of India. "It is being used for creating fake controversies", he alleged. "Instead, what we are proposing is that the GST Council must come within the ambit of Article 370".

The opposition MLAs alleged that the ruling PDP under pressure from its BJP ally has chose to bulldoze through the GST implementation in the state.

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