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Stage set for GST rollout, says Finance Minister Jaitley

Stage set for GST rollout, says Finance Minister Jaitleyā€¯

A special session of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly is being held from July 4 to discuss the implementation of GST in the state. While the Jammu traders demanded implementation of the GST without any delay, the Kashmir traders are up in arms declaring that it will never be allowed to be implemented in the state.

After Goods and Service Tax (GST), the new Tax regime in India, landed in a controversy in Kashmir valley, Finance Minister, Finance Minisyter Dr Haseeb Drabu on Wednesday held an hour-long interaction deliberating on the issue. "But it will settle down and the country will benefit from the new indirect tax regime", Jaitley said at an event organised by a national news channel.

Attacking Congress for not taking any reform agenda seriously during their regime, Jaitley said that since 2004 to 2014 no major reforms were initiated. "We will take a final call on GST implementation tomorrow after getting a full understanding of parties during the APM", he said.

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Finance Minister while answering to the questions of reporters said that false information is being spread that state has no control on exemptions.

Initially, the BJP-ruled Rajasthan, Haryana, Maharashtra, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, and manufacturing States such as Tamil Nadu and Karnataka were against the GST over revenue implications. But is the J&K government even capable of modifying an amendment of the Indian Constitution? "Let us understand what their views are", he had said. Our consistent stand has been that GST at the cost of fiscal autonomy and special status is not acceptable.

The government recently set up an all party consultative group under senior PDP leader and former deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Beig who has served also as finance minister in a previous PDP-Congress government.

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The separatists, on the other hand, have accused Drabu, of "showing loyalty to Nagpur" by seeking to implement the "RSS agenda" on Jammu and Kashmir.

While talking to media persons, President of Traders Federation, Rajesh Gupta threatened to continue their struggle till GST is implemented in their state with amendments. Drabu cautioned that Jammu and Kashmir would be left as an isolated economy if the GST is not implemented. Besides, it will also entail amending Section 5 of J&K Constitution which can't be done. The state enjoyed special status under article 370 and draws its taxation powers from its own constitution.

GST, termed as the most radical tax reform since Independence, seeks to subsume all central indirect taxes like excise duty, countervailing duty and service tax, as also state levies like Value Added Tax, entry tax and luxury tax, to create a single, pan-India market.

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