Srinagar: Threatening to intensify their agitation if their demands are not considered in a week’s time, the Jammu and Kashmir Coordination Committee (JKCC), an umbrella forum of various business and civil society groups, on Wednesday demanded the rollback of Goods and Service Tax (GST).
In a presser here, the JKCC spokesman said that after holding several consultations and meetings to analyse the Presidential Order, the committee’s members were all “disappointed” that the government had just “hoodwinked the people by false propaganda”.
Zahoor Ahmad Tramboo, a member of JKCC, said that with the amending of Article 246 and incorporating of Article 246A, “the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir has become subordinate to the Constitution of India.”
The JKCC demanded that the state of J&K be declared a Free Economic Zone (FEZ) by New Delhi.
Suggesting that the government should have followed the GST issue on the pattern of the Panchayati Raj Act, the JKCC members said that “surrendering the tax powers with respect to goods and services to the Parliament is simply a constitutional deceit and amounts to defiling the state constitution”.
“We are not against the implementation of GST but the government should follow it in a way that protects our fiscal autonomy. A trader is a tax collector for the government. Creating a wedge between trader and consumer will not be successful,” a JKCC member said.
The JKCC claimed that the state government was attempting to malign the character of trader leaders by “misleading the consumers” about GST issue. “It is just a treacherous plan of government to create trader-consumer divide here,” members said.