The passage of the GST Bill by the Jammu and Kashmir legislature would be scripted in “golden letters” as it is a big sucess for the country’s democracy, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Friday. She also sought to allay apprehensions over the new tax regime, saying what is good for the country cannot be bad for Jammu and Kashmir and underlined the Centre didn’t change any word in the state’s Cabinet note on “how we protect our special status while implementing GST”.
“I am happy that without changing any word or character they sent it (Cabinet note) back to us in Presidential Order,” she said the state Legislative Council.
Earlier in the day, the Jammu and Kashmir Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017, moved by Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, was adopted by a voice vote.
The bill was moved in the Assembly after the Presidential Order which gave an assurance on preservation of the special status of the state guaranteed by Article 370 of the Constitution.
Mehbooba recalled that her father and ex-chief minister Mufti Mohammd Sayeed used to say the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was the most empowered House in the whole country.
“When we used to hear this, we used to think what was he saying? But today, we are seeing that the whole country was waiting when the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly will pass a law and a resolution so that the GST, which has been passed in whole of the country, would be implemented here.”
Unfortunately, for the past 70 years whenever any central law was passed, it was done “secretly” and even good laws were viewed with “suspicion” by people.
“But today, for the first time, it has happened that (in) the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, we passed a resolution and I am happy and thankful to our country’s President and the Prime Minister – about whom I repeatedly say that if Jammu and Kashmir has to be taken out of this morass and if anyone is holding power and courage then it is Narendra Modi. It needs a big heart,” she added.
She said the coming generation would remember this session of the legislature.
“I believe, this day would be scripted with golden letters not for only our assembly but for the whole country’s democracy and parliament because I believe there couldn’t have been be any big success for our nation’s democracy than what we saw (debate and adoption of the GST resolution) over past few days in the Jammu and Kashmir’s assembly,” she said.
Mehbooba thanked the President and the Prime Minister for safeguarding the aspiration of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and caring for their sensitivities.
“Mufti sahab used to repeatedly say those things which we have been given to us by our country, by our parliament and if we manage to protect them then there is no bigger ‘azadi’ (freedom) than this.
“We didn’t disappoint them. And our country, our central government, our prime minister also didn’t disappoint us. We kept their dignity and they kept ours’,” she said.