Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu, on Wednesday said the implementation of GST in Jammu and Kashmir “won’t infringe the Article 370”.
Addressing a press conference after the cabinet approved a four-day special session of the House from July 17 to evolve consensus on GST, Drabu said, “The special session has been called to evolve consensus on the GST. We want to take everyone on board including the traders before implementing the GST in the state.”
The Finance Minister said, “If the GST is not extended to J&K, no business can be done profitably in the state. Nobody will be able to do business here and no supply from outside, because they have to pay double tax.”
He said the state would become “an isolated economy” and “can’t function”.
“GST is a consumption tax and we are a consumer state. The state will gain additional Rs 1,600 crore due to its implementation,” he said.
He said it was a unified tax being levied all across the country. He said there were constitutional, legislative, and administrative aspects to the GST.
For implementation of the GST, no constitutional amendment was required to J&K, he said.
He said the cabinet has decided to modify the GST after five years.
He said Jammu and Kashmir has a separate constitution and tax laws are implemented under Section 5 of the constitution.
“No new tax has been added to J&K. It is a modified version of the VAT. In GST there are no exemptions, but for J&K and north India, the reimbursement will be continued as under VAT.”
Drabu said in 2012, he opposed the GST.
“Union Finance Minister said J&K assembly is fully empowered to take a view on GST and lots of changes have been made, which was not the case earlier. It was discussed broadly then evolved consensus by GST counsel. GST counsel is first federal institution discussed it extensively for 12 years,” he added.