M Ahmad Parray
Srinagar, July 3: The ruling PDP-BJP on Tuesday will move a resolution for the adoption of the GST regime by application of the constitutional amendment in a “modified” manner to safeguard the existing special constitutional position of J&K.
According to Kashmir Glory, the Resolution will be moved in the legislative house by finance minister Dr Haseeb Drabu as the state legislature resumes to debate the pan-India tax regime.
“This house resolves that the government of Jammu and Kashmir May give consent to the adoption of the GST regime by application of the relevant amendments made to the constitution of India in a modified manner to safeguard the existing special constitutional position of J&K in the union of India and the legislative powers under the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir,” reads the government resolution.
The state government which failed to meet the June 30 timeline for the GST rollout was likely to clear the legislation on the indirect tax regime by July 6, the Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu had said on weekend.
Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had on last week written a letter to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, saying that failure of the state to implement the GST would lead to “adverse impact” of price rise and put the local industry at a disadvantage.
The J&K is the only state which has not taken a call yet on the implementation of the new tax regime which came into force in the country from midnight tonight.
“Jammu and Kashmir (assembly) is likely to pass the GST bill by July 6 in the state,” Drabhu, who was in New Delhi to attend the midnight launch of the GST in the central hall of Parliament, had said on Saturday last.
Earlier, the finance minister had attended the meeting of GST Council convened by Jaitley.
In view of differences among the political parties, the state government had set up an all-party consultative group to find a common ground.
The consultative group held its second meeting yesterday after which the government claimed that the parties were in agreement on extension of the new tax regime but with safeguards to protect the fiscal autonomy of the state.
“There was a general consensus in the meeting that non- implementation of the GST regime would trigger economic and financial chaos in the state with the inter-state trade vis- a-vis J&K taking a big hit,” an official spokesman said here.
A few days back, Drabu had said the Mehbooba Mufti government is “genuinely interested” in building a consensus because the GST is a regime that would last for the next 30-40 years.
“We will take a final call on the GST implementation once we get the full sense of the all-party meeting. I do not want to preempt anybody. Let us understand what their views are,” he had said.
Drabu had said the state government has reached out to the opposition parties of the state and sent them all the relevant documents.
He had said a perception has been created that the GST would impact the special status and the fiscal autonomy of the state, but there is no compromise on Article 370.
“The government is trying to build a consensus. This is a very fragile society. We are going through difficult times. … The way things are happening around us, the way things have been dehumanized, anything can spark off. You do not want to create social chaos.
“So, it is in the interest of the society of J&K, not just the economy, to build a certain political as well as legislative consensus,” he had said.
The consultative committee meeting held threadbare discussions over the legal, legislative, financial, economic and administrative aspects of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime with the chairman explaining in detail the nuances of the new tax regime.