Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu on Wednesday said the state government is taking its time over the GST implementation because of the “fragile situation” in the Valley. He added that they want to build a legislative consensus on the issue.
“It is an agreement, not a compromise, that has been done in the interest of the common man,” he said. “We are going through very difficult times. We have reached a position where you are beginning to question yourself. At least I am questioning myself… The way things are happening around us, the way we have been dehumanised, anything can spark off.’’ He added that they do not want to create a social chaos. “So it is in the interest of the society in Jammu and Kashmir and not just the economy….”
Drabu said the government could have gone for the GST implementation, but it chose to do things in a transparent manner.
He said the GST cannot be implemented directly in the state as it has its own constitution. “… the state’s own GST will be put before the Assembly and it will be passed. After that, the GST regime will become operational in Jammu and Kashmir.’’
Drabu called GST “anti-profiteering” and beneficial for customers. He added the GST is more sophisticated and superior version of VAT. Drabu cautioned that Jammu and Kashmir would be left as an isolated economy if the GST is not implemented. He added that trade will be impossible. “No export or import can be done.’’
Drabu said there will be chaos for some months but economy will be stabilised eventually. “After the implementation of the GST, commodities will be cheaper within six to eight months.’’