GST Bill not to impact J&K special status, says finance minister Haseeb Drabu

He said the government have convened a special session of the Assembly on June 17 to discuss the issue and to extend the constitutional amendment 101 to the state after the cabinet approved the draft GST Bill

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar | Published:June 8, 2017 3:17 am
mehbooba mufti, jammu and kashmir, gst, gst jammu and kashmir, gst j&k, article 370, indian express, india news, latest news Mehbooba Mufti. File

Jammu and Kashmir finance minister Haseeb Drabu on Wednesday insisted that the introduction of the GST Bill will not impact the state’s special status.

He said the government have convened a special session of the Assembly on June 17 to discuss the issue and to extend the constitutional amendment 101 to the state after the cabinet approved the draft GST Bill.

“The constitutional amendment 101 does not apply to Jammu and Kashmir. We are extending it in a modified form,” Drabu told reporters.

Drabu said that it would be done on an experimental basis for five years and reviewed after that. He said that they would not need any amendment to the state’s Constitution.

“It (introduction of GST) is not about the government. It is about businesses,” he said.

“If we do not (introduce it) no business in Jammu and Kashmir can be done profitably. They will have to face two taxes — the state tax and the central tax.”

Drabu said the introduction of GST would give additional taxes of Rs 1,500-1,600 crore to the state in addition to the devolution happening from the Centre.

The cabinet separately decided to reserve six posts — two inspector-general of police and four deputy inspector-general of police — for the officers of the Kashmir Police Service.

“Six posts have been reserved for local officers,” said minister and government spokesman Naeem Akhtar. “There would be a new ladder of promotion for them (officers of the Kashmir Police Service).”

The issue had resulted in a rift between the ruling coalition partners with the BJP voicing its opposition to the move. The matter had been referred to the cabinet sub committee. “The sub-committee report was approved by the cabinet,” Akhtar said.

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