Jammu and Kashmir will introduce the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by the first week of July, the state finance minister Haseeb A Drabu said in Parliament on the sidelines of the event to launch India's biggest indirect taxes reform. Loss or no loss, special status of Jammu and Kashmir is more important than anything. "The strike will continue till June 30 and future course of action will be decided after GST Council meeting, which is scheduled on June 30", Federation of Rajasthan Trade and Industry President Suresh Agarwal told. Textiles should be exempted from GST, he said.
Tax analysts said that there is ambiguity regarding the applicability of GST to J&K.
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.
The official sources said that the PDP-BJP government had chose to go ahead with the GST following an appeal was made by Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, who also warned that the State would only suffer in case it fails to implement the GST.
Speaking at a news channel's summit on GST, Jaitley said, "The inflation will not be risen as the GST will be lesser than the previous tax regime".
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The new five-Day session would be held despite the failure of the Consultative Group to arrive at a consensus to implement the SGT regime.
Discussing about tax slabs, Jaitley said that government couldn't settle for lesser than four tax slabs - 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% - as it could have been inflationary. It will become a huge political issue across the country.
The party accused the government for the "current chaos, confusion and uncertainty" and said a "proper mode" should be adopted for implementation of the GST in the state in view of its special status. Besides, it will also entail amending Section 5 of J&K Constitution which can't be done. "Every Congress Chief Minister supported the GST". Entire requirements are imported from it and everything produced or manufactured in J&K is exported to the same market. 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 government which blinks will never be able to bring reforms".