We will have a separate, special GST for the state: Drabu

Final decision likely to be taken tomorrow after the All Party Meet

Srinagar: The government on Wednesday said that it will protect the special status of the state and will have a separate GST that will not erode the fiscal and constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir.

Minister for Finance Haseeb Drabu told reporters her that the government will take a final call on extending Goods and Services Tax (GST) to the state after the All Party Committee meeting takes place in Srinagar tomorrow.

Drabu said that under the new tax regime, the special position and Article 370 will not be eroded.

“We will have a separate and special GST. We will retain all the legislative and constitutional powers. GST will give new energy to small businesses. 70 percent of small business will be free from harassment,” he said.

“GST is not being implemented in its present form. Constitutional amendment 101 of the Indian constitution is not implemented because under Section 5 of JK constitution, we have the power to impose tax,” he clarified.

“All the power that we have will be retained. We will not compromise on either Section 5 or Article 370. We will protect special status of the state,” Drabu said.

He said the government does not want to pre-empt anybody and wants to understand the views of the Opposition political parties.
“We will take a final call on when the GST is extended to the state tomorrow one we get a full sense of the All Party Meeting,” Drabu told reporters during an interaction on GST.

“I don’t want to pre-empt anybody. Let us understand what their (Opposition) views are. May be they come up with a wonderful solution which meets all the requirements and makes all of us happy. Hopefully, a broad consensus is reached tomorrow,” he said.

The finance minister said no trade will take place and traders cannot buy anything without this tax regime.
“We will face huge shortage of commodities. Under GST there are no tax exemptions but under our state policy incentives shall continue for industry. The state government will give incentives from its budget,” Drabu added.

He said the government was trying to build a consensus as the situation in state is fragile and we does not want to create social chaos.
“Our power to tax will remain unquestioned under GST,” he said.

(With inputs from KNS)


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