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GST debate: Ball is in PDP’s court as BJP makes its stand clear

FinMin Dr Haseeb A Drabu chairing a meeting with trade bodies in Srinagar over GST implementation in J&K.

Srinagar: Warning of chaos if Goods and Services Tax (GST) is not implemented in Jammu and Kashmir by July 1, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh today said the government would not be able to control the situation that emerges.

“We have told our people that if GST is not implemented by July 1, there will be chaos. GST should be implemented in J&K and if it is not implemented we cannot control the situation then,” Singh said at a seminar in Jammu.

Facing stiff resistance from pro-India opposition camp, the PDP led coalition government is treading a difficult path in implementing GST in state. It had intended to debate extension of central GST law to the state of J&K in legislature, however, the assembly was adjourned sine die without any discussion on the issue as the government formed a All Party Committee (APC) to discuss it.

“We hope GST will be implemented in J&K before July 1 but Opposition is creating hurdles in it,” Singh said.

“We cannot stay in power by compromising on our basic ideology,” Singh said while hitting out at the opposition for raking up issues like Kashmiri Pandit townships, Sainik colonies and GST.

Now it will be interesting to see what the APC does which meets today.

The Finance Minister of the state Dr Haseeb Drabu’s office has sent letters to the members of the committee for a meeting this afternoon.

Headed by PDP senior leader and M P Muzaffar Hussain Baig, the committee comprises of former Finance minister and NC leader, Abdul Rahim Rather, PDP general secretary Nizam ud Din Bhat, PDF chairman and independent MLA from Khansahib Hakim Mohammad Yasin, CPI (M) state secretary and MLA Kulgam M Y Tarigami, Congress leader Ajaz Khan, DPN chief GH Mir, independent legislators Er Abdul Rashid and Pawan Gupta.

Hakeem Yaseen said that the meeting is scheduled to be held at 4 pm today in Nehru Guest house here.

The committee will deliberate on how it can modify the central GST to extend it to the state.

It will come up with a report with few weeks and submit that to the government.

Traders fear that due to GST and the state missing the deadline, trade will come to a halt.

On the situation in Kashmir, he said, “we are in a transition phase and in a decisive phase. The proxy war waged by Pakistan against J&K and India and its nationalistic forces are on same page for stamping it out and central and state government are united in this. There will be decisive decision in the future. We will fight and win it”.

“Jammu people have voted for BJP and made its victorious and created such a situation in which we incorporated the ideology of BJP in the manifesto. We did not leave that ideology. We cannot leave that ideology,” he said.

“We formed the government after three months long discussion and set up the government for giving people governance. We have performed and ensured equal development and governance in all three regions of J&K,” he added.

He said that Rs 80,000 crore package has been granted in J&K and smart cities for Jammu and Srinagar.

“Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Two years cannot change everything but today they way the mindset of people and political class have been contained and ensured that J&K is integral part of India is what we have been talking about,” he added.

“We are passing through a transition state. There is desperation from separatists and militants. The PM and BJP are focused on J&K. They are working to better the situation in J&K,” he said.

Singh said “for the first time, the Centre has made J&K as their first priority. In J&K, the nationalist forces would have to be strengthened and the separatists and terrorists forces would be stamped out soon here”.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi favoured friendship with Pakistan. He kept the agenda of the friendship and neighbourhood as his first priority with Pakistan and instead we got in returned Pathankot, and beheading of our soldiers.

PM also gave a message to Pakistan by undertaking surgical strike that we can cross the border and hit you,” he said.

On 2016 uprising, he said “Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Kashmir thrice and he said talks cannot be held in an environment of gun battles and firing. The Centre and state government has said it clearly that no talks can be held under the shadow of guns in hinterland and blasts of mortars on the border by Pakistan”.

Representation Picture

A vigorous anti-terrorism operation is on and 40 militants have been killed in the past one month in Kashmir, he said adding, “We have not compromised on terrorism.”

“NIA has successfully conducted raids against separatists in Kashmir which has never happened in the past,” he said.

“Majority of people in Kashmir want peace. On June 21, 400 schoolchildren participated in yoga camps in Kashmir,” he added.

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