Srinagar: The All Party Consultative Group constituted by the state Government to evolve consensus over GST implementation in J&K met here Saturday afternoon under the chairmanship of former Deputy Chief Minister and Member Parliament, Muzaffar Hussain Baig.
The members of the All Party Consultative Group include Abdul Rahim Rather from National Conference; M Y Tarigami from CPI(M), Nizam-ud-Din Bhat from PDP, Advocate Sunil Sethi from BJP, Aijaz Ahmad Khan from Congress, Hakeem Muhammad Yasin (PDF), Ghulam Hassan Mir (DNP) and Independent MLAs Pawan Gupta and Sheikh Abdul Rashid, an official spokesperson said.
The invitation for the meeting was extended to the members of the All Party Consultative Group by the Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu on Thursday.
Except the representatives from National Conference and Congress, all other members of the Consultative Group were present at the meeting which was also attended by Minister for Law & Justice, Abdul Haq, Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu, Chief Secretary, B B Vyas, Finance Secretary, Navin Kumar Choudhary, Commissioner Commercial Taxes, M I Khateeb and other senior officers of the Finance & Law Departments.
At the onset, on the request of the chair, the meeting observed two-minute silence as mark of respect for Dy SP Muhammad Ayoub Pandith who was lynched to death near Central Jamia Masjid Srinagar during Shab-e-Qadr.
The meeting held threadbare discussions over the legal, legislative, financial and economic aspects of the GST regime with the Chairman explaining in detail the nuances of the new tax regime.
There was a general consensus in the meeting that non-implementation of 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.
The meeting, at the same time, called for allaying the apprehensions and misconceptions that have been passed on to the people for political expediencies.
Speaking at the conclusion of the meeting, Muzaffar Hussain Baig said that there was unanimity in the forum on either of the three paths to be followed on GST which include taking further time to build wider political consensus, taking the matter to the legislature and allowing the state cabinet to take a call on the issue in light of JK’s special constitutional position.
This is the second attempt by the government to evolve consensus over GST implementation in the state. Earlier, an All Party Meeting chaired by chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was convened on the issue on June 13.