Call all-party meet to discuss GST, NC tells state govt

Jammu and Kashmir National Conference core group, which met here on Thursday, expressed grave concern over the extension of Constitutional Amendment 101 of the Constitution of India to Jammu & Kashmir.

The core group meeting chaired by the National Conference working president Omar Abdullah feared that the intent of the state government can have wider ramifications on the state’s fiscal autonomy and will impinge upon the residuary powers enjoyed by the state.

The group, which was briefed by the two former finance ministers Abdul Rahim Rather and Mohammad Shafi Uri, strongly felt that since the Constitutional Amendment will cause irreparable damage to the state and its people. The state government should call an all-party meeting and have a threadbare discussion on Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime so as to allay the fears and concerns of the various political parties and put the entire concept in public domain. The state government should have an open debate with all the stakeholders before rushing to summon a session of the state legislature.

The core group castigated the state government’s effort to implement the GST regime in the state in a hush-hush manner to please the Centre thereby bartering the interests of the state and its people to remain in power.

The core group noted that the present Finance Minister, who today is the strongest votary of GST implementation in Jammu & Kashmir, has on record said “Come GST, neither the state legislature nor the state cabinet will have a say on J&K taxation”. The group said the Finance Minister must come clean on the issue and not hoodwink the people of the state.

The core group meeting was attended by party general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, Mohammad Shafi Uri, Abdul Rahim Rather, Advocate Muhammad Akbar Lone, Chaudhary Muhammad Ramzan, provincial presidents Nasir Aslam Wani, Devender Singh Rana and party treasurer S. Shammi Singh Oberoi.

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