The opposition National Conference on Saturday accused the PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir of misleading people about constitutional safeguards in the presidential order issued on Thursday for the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax in the state. “They are talking about not amending Section 5 of the Jammu and Kashmir constitution which they cannot do anyway. Through this presidential order Section 5 and Article 370 have been rendered hollow,” former finance minister and senior NC leader Abdul Rahim Rather told reporters here.
He said the state GST Act was passed in an “unprecedented hurry” as there were directions to the state govt from the Centre to implement it as soon as possible. “The act was passed in 30 seconds without discussion. I challenge if any member of the house has read this voluminous act,” Rather said. He also expressed surprise at the resolution passed by the state assembly on Wednesday which led to the presidential order for implementation of GST in the state.
“I was surprised that the resolution was even admitted in the assembly as it was vague. They have passed it on the basis of brute majority which they shouldn’t have used in such a sensitive matter.” Rather said the intention of the BJP in eroding the special status of Jammu and Kashmir has been made clear by the statements by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP state president Sat Sharma.
In response to a question, Rather also targeted state Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu saying, “Drabu termed Article 370 as obstructionist which is the same language used by the BJP and the RSS.” Jammu and Kashmir was the last state to implement the GST which was rolled out in rest of the country on July 1. The opposition has been insisting that introduction of the GST in Jammu and Kashmir will compromise its special status.