LC too adopts resolution over GST

The Jammu and Kashmir assembly witnessed ruckus over the passage of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill on Tuesday with Opposition parties accusing the PDP-BJP government of fiddling with State's special status, which is enshrined in the Article 370 of the Constitution.

In a meeting chaired by National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, the core group reportedly said "the PDP-BJP government in the state is working according to a pre-meditated plan to disempower the state and trample upon the aspirations of the people".

Drabu said Article 370, which gives special status to J&K under Indian Constitution, should be protected and used for development of the state and for the empowerment of people.

The opposition believes it will infringe on the special status of the state. A general strike called by Kashmir Inc against the GST disrupted normal life across the Valley on Wednesday.

Summary: A staff of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly today fell unconscious during a scuffle between his colleagues and opposition legislators after the speaker issued orders for marshalling out independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid from the house. He also said that the State will retain unbridled powers to tax. This will be the only state that will enjoy such powers, it suggested. We shall have our own appellant authority.

Drabu said all exemptions, remissions and the subsidies will continue as long as they are.

The resolution on GST was passed by both the Houses of Legislature amid assurance from the finance minister that it would be implemented under the ambit of Article 370.

The traders were scheduled to hold a stir in near the assembly to protest the implementation of the new tax regime in the state in its present form, claiming that it would lead to the erosion of the state's special position and its fiscal autonomy.

Drabu ruled out the possibility of presidential order on extension of GST taking a parallel route other than Article 370. Some lawmakers had registered their concern over the possibility of GST Council, constituted on basis of a Lok Sabha law, becoming a new system to extend central laws and systems. He said the effort is to strengthen certain eroded parts of the state constitution using this presidential ordinance. The number of trucks crossing the toll plaza has come down to 200-300 from 2000 before 1 July, they said.

  • Eleanor Harrison