Jammu & Kashmir assembly likely to pass GST Bill by July 6


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Hundreds of traders of "Traders Federation Ware House/Nehru Market Jammu" held demonstration against the non-implementation of GST (Goods & Services Tax) in the state.

The special session of Jammu & Kashmir assembly is set to be reconvened on Monday. "When the end consumers are ready to pay tax, why the traders are anxious?" he said. "In case the GST is not extended to the State, the businesses will be crippled as no trader from J&K will be able to do business with their counterparts from other parts of the country", Dr Drabu said and added that the consumer in J&K will be the worst hit due to double taxation.

"The socio-economic nature of the country is changing, and also goods such as these are used by the common man, and so it was made a decision to tax them at this rate", the Finance Minister added.

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the Narendra Modi-led government will stick to its plans to roll out the Good and Services Tax on July 1 despite requests for a deferment from several quarters.

Jammu and Kashmir is the only state yet to make a final call on the GST as the country's biggest tax reform was rolled out past midnight Friday.

As the state of Jammu and Kashmir enjoys "special status" in the Indian Constitution through Article 370, traders, transporters and opposition parties have raised objections with regard to the implementation of the GST in the state.

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The all-party consultative group, headed by PDP MP and former deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Beg, was constituted by the government after an all-party meet failed to evolve a consensus over the issue.

A special one-day session was called on June 17 to debate the draft legislation on the GST approved by the State Cabinet earlier issue but it was adjourned indefinitely after the House witnessed noisy scenes.

Attacking Congress for not taking any reform agenda seriously during their regime, Jaitley said that since 2004 to 2014 no major reforms were initiated. Besides, it will also entail amending Section 5 of J&K Constitution which can't be done. "Twin taxation systems dissociated from each other will entail costs to business and to public finance system". The Opposition voiced concerns regarding losing fiscal autonomy of the state if the central law is extended to the state without protection of J&K's own taxation powers. "The law must be introduced in an applicable form in the state", he said.

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