J & K

Presidential Order will not change anything, Drabu’s assurance are hollow: NC

July 09, 2017 04:52 PM

Srinagar, Jul 08 (KNS): National Conference today said the PDP-BJP coalition passed the GST gazette which was prepared in New Delhi in a jiffy in the Legislative Assembly, disregarding the laid down procedures and the Opposition.

Addressing a press conference at Nawai Subh headquarters here, senior NC leader and former finance minister, Abdur Rahim Rather said that with extension of GST to the state, the government has eroded the special status of the state and snatched powers of the state’s legislature to impose and decide taxes.

Jammu and Kashmir legislature had exclusive powers to impose tax on goods and services. Now with GST extended to the state, those powers have gone and only the Government of India has those powers now,” Rather said, 

“Jammu and Kashmir legislature had exclusive powers to impose tax on goods and services. Now with GST extended to the state, those powers have gone and only the Government of India has those powers now,” Rather said, according to KNS correspondent.

“Government of India is a partner in Section 5 Constitution of Jammu Kashmir. Our legislature cannot even fix tax rates or threshold slabs,” the former finance minister said.

Rather said the 226-page GST gazette prepared in New Delhi was passed “within half-a-minute of being presented in the Legislative Assembly without respecting the Opposition views”.

Commenting on the Presidential Order on GST, Rather said the order has not addressed the concerns raised by the NC, Opposition parties, traders and others.

Rather said the CGST (Central GST) will be applied in the State in “totality” while IGST has replace the Central Sales Tax (CST) which Jammu and Kashmir government would levy.

“So the Presidential Order will not change anything. The assurances of the finance minister (Haseeb Drabu) have no value and are hollow as the Special Status of the State has been eroded and tunneled by extending the GST,” he said.

The NC leader also lashed out at Drabu for “assuring” that GST council cannot amend the State’s constitution, saying that the “assurance of the finance minister hold no value and meaning as the GST council cannot amend the Jammu and Kashmir’s constitution”.

On the statement of Drabu that financial integration of Jammu Kashmir with India was completed in 1956, Rather asked that why was there need to insert Article 246 A in the amendments if the financial integration was already done.

On NC boycotting the last day of the session, Rather said that the government had made its mind on extending the GST to the state.

The NC leader said that the party led by its leader including General Secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar, Muhammad Shafi Uri and Devender Singh Rana spoke vociferously in the legislature against the GST and danger to the Special Status due to the new tax regime.

Meanwhile, NC president Farooq Abdullah hinted at a joint opposition of all mainstream political parties against the GST, saying that the opposition parties will be taken into confidence regarding the future strategy on extension of GST to the state.

On his son and former chief minister Omar Abdullah not speaking in the Assembly on GST debate, Abdullah said that he had to attend an ailing relative in a hospital. (KNS)

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