Amendment 101 passed: GST is happening in Jammu and Kashmir

Opposition parties and traders’ bodies have opposed the coutnry’s uniform tax, fearing compromise of state’s fiscal autonomy.

india Updated: Jul 05, 2017 20:42 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
GST,Jammu and Kashmir,goods and services tax
Jammu and Kashmir finance minister Haseeb Drabu addresses the state assembly during the special session called to pass Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, in Srinagar on Wednesday. (PTI)

The Jammu and Kashmir assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution to adopt the goods and services tax (GST) law even as opposition and traders opposed the move, fearing compromise of the state’s fiscal autonomy.

Concluding the two-day discussion on the country’s new uniform tax regime, finance minister Haseeb Drabu assured members that it will not tamper the special status of the state.

Drabu said Article 370, which gives the state special status, shall not be compromised in any way. He said that under no circumstances would section 5 of the state constitution, which gives Jammu and Kashmir exclusive taxation powers, be eroded.

He said that there would be enough safeguards for the state constitution, and the GST council — which has finance ministers of all states as members and the Union finance minister as its chairman —would in no way subvert the process.

Drabu then urged the speaker Kavinder Gupta to pass the resolution.

Gupta passed the resolution after PDP and BJP members supported it while National Conference and Congress opposed it.

Immediately, after the adoption, the Jammu and Kashmir government called a special cabinet meet to give concurrence to 101st amendment or the GST Act.

The new tax regime was rolled out across India on July 1 except Jammu and Kashmir where people have opposed it saying that the new law in its current form would “infringe upon autonomy of the state”.

Trade bodies and civil society have formed a coordination committee to oppose the resolution.

As the state draws its taxation powers from its own Constitution, opposition says the extending of Constitutional Amendment 101, or the GST Act, to the state would take away these powers.

Opposition leader and former chief minister Omar Abdullah was quick to slam the government for what he said was “sham resolution” process.

Traders across the Kashmir valley shut shops and businesses to protest GST implementation. Authorities imposed restrictions in parts of old city Srinagar to prevent any mass protests on the call of traders.

First Published: Jul 05, 2017 20:40 IST