All-parties meeting today at SKICC
SRINAGAR: All the mainstream pro-India parties are likely to support the Goods and Services Tax legislation that will be discussed in a special session of the Assembly on June 17. Leaders of the National Conference, Congress, and other pro-India political parties told Kashmir Reader that in the all-parties meeting today at the SKICC, they will tell the government that they would support the GST legislation as long as it does not erode the state’s fiscal autonomy and its special status under the Indian Constitution.
Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee president Ghulam Ahmad Mir told Kashmir Reader that his party will support the government if it does not betray the state’s power of levying and collecting taxes.
“In the meeting we will first ask the government to show their bill. We will examine it and see how the state has protected its fiscal autonomy and special status. If the two have been protected, we will support the government,” Mir said.
National Conference General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar said his party, too, will examine how the government has protected the state’s powers and special status.
“If the two have not been undermined then there is no controversy. But there is a big if. We have apprehensions that the government may undermine it because it is in power with BJP, whose policy it is to erode the special status of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Independent MLA Er Rasheed said that it remains to be seen if the GST bill is a mirror copy of the Indian legislation or something different. “As of now the state has called a meeting just days before the assembly session. This short period of time leave us less scope to pick loopholes. Let’s see how the meeting goes,” Rasheed said.
The Congress will send Aijaz Ahmad Khan, Ghulam Nabi Monga and Usman Majeed to the all-parties meeting, while the NC will send former finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather, Mohammad Shafi Uri and others. Er Rasheed will also attend the meeting.