Opposition National Conference today warned the Jammu and Kashmir government of severe consequences if it implemented the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the present form. The party said it would not accept the new tax regime till adequate safeguards were put in place.
“Our position is that till we get the constitutional, administrative and economic safeguards, NC will not accept the GST…They (government) should not do it (implement GST in its present form). But if they still do it, they will have to face the consequences,” senior NC leader Abdul Rahim Rather said here. Rather, accompanied by party state spokesperson Junaid Mattu, was addressing a press conference.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had assured the Jammu and Kashmir government of all possible help in restructuring the GST rollout for the state while respecting its special status under Article 370 of the Constitution. “They (J&K) have their own legislative system and I hope they are able to do its own. I have emphasised on the state government that if they do not join the GST, or till such time that they do not join, their consumers and traders will have to pay tax twice over,” he had said.
Mattu said the party would safeguard the special status of Jammu and Kashmir as guaranteed under the Article 370.
“We will do everything we can to safeguard it. If they (government) still are adamant to apply GST in its present form), we will explore other options to fight,” he said.
Hitting out at Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu’s statement that the state Assembly was likely to pass the GST bill by July 6, Rather asked if the government had made up its mind, “what is the fun of calling a special session of the legislature”.