Two days before the J-K assembly’s special session, to discuss the implementation of GST in the state, has been convened the opposition National Conference warned of consequences if GST is implemented without “adequate constitutional safeguards”. “We will not accept the GST till we get the constitutional, administrative and economic safeguards,” said J-K’s former finance minister and senior National Conference leader Abdul Rahim Rather. He was addressing a press conference in Srinagar. “The GST in its present form is not acceptable to the state. The government should not extend it to the state without modification”.
Rather, who also served as the chairman of the GST council when he was J-K’s Finance minister under NC-Congress government, said that the party would decide its next course of action if the government went ahead with the implementation of GST in its present form.
Jammu and Kashmir is the only state that has not yet rolled out the new tax regime. The J-K government has convened a special session of the assembly on July 4 to discuss and extend the constitutional amendment 101 to the state to facilitate the implementation of GST. The J-K government first convened a special session on GST on June 17 but had to adjourn the session only after the obituary references as it failed to build a consensus over the issue. In fact, it is not only the political parties but also the trade bodies in valley that are opposing the new tax regime in its current form.
While referring to the special session convened by the government, Rather questioned its purpose. “What is the fun of calling a special session of the Legislature when the government has made up its mind to implement GST,” he asked. He was referring to a media quoting Drabu that J-K will give its nod to extend GST on July 6. “The government has told the opposition it will present the proposal in the assembly session to safeguard special status of the state. But what is that? Don’t the traders and people have right to know?” He said that PDP-BJP coalition government has “failed to provide any concrete alternative proposal” for safeguarding the special position of the state.
Meanwhile, the different trade bodies of valley met on Sunday and formed a committee to propose an alternative mechanism for GST that would “safeguard the fiscal and constitutional autonomy” of the state. The Committee would again meet on Monday to come-up with the alternative proposal.