It will boost state’s tax revenue: Drabu
SRINAGAR: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that New Delhi would provide the Jammu and Kashmir government all possible help in restructuring the Goods and Services Tax without eroding its autonomy powers. “Only the Jammu and Kashmir state and its assembly will decide how they want to implement GST. Centre will ensure all help. The implementation will help increase the revenue of the state because it is a consumer state,” said Jaitley while talking to reporters.
Earlier in the day, JK Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu had said that the implementation of GST will boost the state’s tax revenue by nearly Rs 2,000 crore.
The 14th meeting of the GST Council, headed by Jaitley and consisting of state finance ministers and other officials, kicked off on Thursday for two days at the SKICC here. Because of the state’s special position in the Indian quasi-federal structure, JK holds a special position because of which no Indian law can be extended to the state without the concurrence of its assembly. Now the state will make a mirror copy of the GST law to retain the taxation powers within the state.
Jaitley complimented Drabu for helping organise the final leg of the GST Council meeting before the law takes effect from July 1 this year.
Before the meeting began on Thursday, Drabu told reporters that the GST bill will be introduced in the next 30 days in the state legislature. He said J&K draws powers of taxation from Section 5 of its Constitution whereas all other states of India draw their powers from Article 246 of the Constitution of India.
“So, some changes have to be made. We will try and introduce the GST bill in the coming 30 days in the state legislature. Only after it is passed by the state legislature shall we enact it,” he said.
Drabu said the historic meeting will make Jammu and Kashmir part of an economic history aimed at reordering the country’s federal polity. “We are now part of the national policy making,” he said, adding that J&K was considering bringing real estate under GST.
Drabu said common people would enjoy the many benefits of GST because it would decrease the cascading effect of taxes. “Importing states like J&K will have huge benefit. As per our estimate, we will have Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 crore profit in tax revenue. Prices will go down for common people in the coming three years,” he said.
A top state government functionary told Kashmir Reader that the state was pushing for including handcrafts in the tax exemption category.