The Jammu and Kashmir government will hold a special Assembly session from June 17 to clear the Goods and Services Tax (GST) law.
Announcing the decision of holding the session, Finance Minister, Haseeb Drabu, said that the session will be convened from June 17 (Saturday).
“We will hold broad based discussion on extension of GST to Jammu and Kashmir,” Drabu said at a press conference. The decision to hold the special session was taken in the cabinet meeting which was chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today at civil secretariat. Finance Minister said that the extension of GST has three aspects including constitutional, administrative and legal. “All these aspects will be discussed in the assembly,” he said.
He said that the extension of GST does not infringe upon the Article 370 as Jammu and Kashmir has separate constitution and tax laws are implemented under section 5 of the constitution.
Drabu said that the government will review after five years the experience of GST in the state. “If we don’t extend GST to the state, no business can be properly done in JK as two taxes will be imposed in the state,” he said.
He said that GST is a “consumption” tax and the state will gain Rs 60-70 crore additional revenue. He said that GST is a modified version of VAT and under GST there can’t be any tax exemptions. In the cabinet meeting it was also decided by the state to hike the passenger fare for different means of transport services. Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA), Choudhary Zulfikar Ali, who was present in the press conference said that the cabinet decided to hike the passenger fare after considering the hike in prices of fuel.
“The fare for big busses has been hiked by 13.7 5, medium and mini-busses 13.7 %, cabs and taxis 8.25 %, autos 2.85 %, and others 13.7 %,” Ali said. The minister said that the decision was taken after frequent appeals and meetings by transporters with the chief minister.
The minister also said that the government will provide subsidized sugar to 74.13 lakh souls of priority population including BPL and other categories, in the state with effect from April 1, 2017.
“The burden of the subsidy, which is Rs 22/ kg, will be borne out by the state exchequer,” he said. He said that the decision was taken after the Government of India curtailed the subsidy on sugar for all thT states.