Finance Minister, Haseeb A Drabu, said today that the state government will introduce the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in next 30 days for which a special session of Legislative Assembly will be called to make the law.
Talking to reporters on the side lines of 14-th GST council meet at SKICC in Srinagar, Drabu said, “We will go into the GST regime but because we have a special constitutional position, we will try and make some changes.”
He said that while all the other states of India draw power to tax from Article 246 of constitution of India, J&K draws power to tax from section 5 of its constitution. Therefore, Drabu said, some changes have to be made. “We will try and introduce the GST bill in coming 30 days in the state legislature. Only after it is passed by the state legislature, shall we enact it.” “J&K was mulling to bring real estate under the GST,’’ he added.
Elaborating on the benefits that would accrue to the people, Drabu said the GST would decrease the cascading effect of taxes. “And importing states like J&K will have huge benefit. As per our estimate, we will have Rs 1500 to 2000 Cr profit in tax revenue. Prices will go down for common people in coming three years,” he said. The Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, has assured the state government that the Center will extend all possible help in restructuring the GST implementation for Jammu and Kashmir while upholding the special status of the state.
Jaitely chaired the GST meet of the Finance Ministers of all the states, and top officials from across India, and it would be the final meeting of the GST council before the law is rolled out on July 1 this year. Drabu said the historic meeting will make Jammu and Kashmir part of the economic history aimed at reordering the country’s federal polity, “We are now part of the national policy making which will be recorded in the history,” he said. The meeting will last for two days during which the delegates will decide the tax bands for various commodities under the country’s first, major indirect tax reform. The finance ministers, finance secretaries and taxation officials of various states and union territories are participating in the two-day meeting, which is being held at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has said it would take a final call on participation in the GST regime after bringing legislation to protect the interests of the state and bring the national GST policy in consonance with the state’s constitution. Due to the special position of the state, government has clarified that it will make own law as Jammu and Kashmir has its own constitution which is applicable concomitantly with the Indian constitution.