GST debate: PDP-BJP govt welcomes statement of resistance leadership, says, ‘this is what is needed’

PDP-BJP J&K government spokesperson, Naeem Akhtar, in his office chambers in civil secretariat Srinagar on June 17, 2017. (FPK Photo)

Srinagar: The PDP-BJP government on Saturday welcomed the statement of resistance leadership on the extension of central Goods and Services Tax (GST) to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

India is rolling out a uniform tax from July Ist and the colaition government in Jammu and Kashmir intends to extend the central law to the state, however, the pro-India political parties outside government have opposed. They were joined by the trade bodies across the regional divide of J&K terming the law as infringement of special status of J&K.

The joint resistane leadership termed it as a plan “to cripple the economy“. “The law is aimed to target the Kashmiri businessmen,” they said.

“We welcome the statement of separatists (on GST),” PDP-BJP government spokesperson, Naeem Akhtar, told a presser in his office chambers in civil secretariat here.

“These are the issues they should talk about,” he added.

Whether to extend the central GST law to the J&K state, the governor N N Vohra had called a special session of J&K Legislative Assembly to discuss the extension of central Goods and Services Tax (GST) to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

“It is (a) positive (sign) that separatists have contributed to it (GST debate),” he said.

“This is a realistic remark (by government),” he said when asked whether it was a sarcastic statement aimed at resistance leadership. “Whatever the ideological differences but that is what is actually needed.”

However, the session was adjourned sine die today without any debate on GST.

“It is for the first time any central law is being discussed in state legislature,” Akhtar said.

“We want to build a broader consensus,” he added.

Akhtar asserted that his government would not “impose or force GST law in J&K if people do not want it”.

“We want people to feel easy,” he said, “if they do not want it (extension of central GST law), we will not impose it.”

“We will not rush in to it as it took twelve long years to form GST law,” he explained.

However, he added that those states which will not join the GST regime will have to pay double taxes.

“It is good reform,” he said regarding the GST.

He said that for further deliberations on GST, government has formed an all-party panel. “The government has kept in mind as how the special status will be safeguarded.”

“PDP as well as BJP are committed to the special status as has been agreed in the Agenda of Alliance (AoA,” he said.

He said that the government was taking more time for bulding broader consensus and the panel has been formed in this reagrd.

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