Fearing that traders may launch an agitation against the implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST), state government on Sunday convened a meeting with the leaders of Kashmir’s business community.
During the meeting traders categorically stated that they were against the implementation of GST in the state, as it would pose a serious “threat to the state’s autonomy.”
Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) president, Mushtaq Ahmad Wani said, “We have made our stand clear to the Chief Minster regarding the implementation of GST in the state. It will compromise the state’s financial autonomy.”
The traders’ community in Kashmir had earlier said that it would oppose the new tax regime tooth and nail.
In an advertisement issued in newspapers, the Commercial Tax Department had asked the dealers doing interstate transactions to get registered in the GST system by obtaining Goods and Service Tax Identified Number (GSTIN), on the pattern of TIN, from GSTN, a body responsible for the management of GST transactions, sources added.
The advertisement stated, “The GSTN would allot a provisional identification number along with passwords to the existing dealers. The dealers who are yet to receive the ID and passwords were advised to promptly collect the same and complete the process of obtaining GSTIN by June 15. The process of registration would close by June 15.”
As per sources, the government in the meeting failed to pacify the traders about the implementation of GST.
Wani said, “The Chief Minister in her final comments said that she would look into the aspect of financial autonomy of the state getting eroded by the implementation of GST. If any such thing happens she assured that she would not implement it in the state.”
Wani further added, “She will be discussing the issue with the finance minister and after that will get back to us.”
Cutting across different chambers and trader bodies, the business leaders have geared up for a showdown against the implementation of GST Act as they believe “it would be implemented at the cost of state’s special status.”
Wani, however, said that they would wait for the decision of the government before taking any step.
Meanwhile, the state government has decided to convene an all-party meeting on June 13 to discuss the implementation of GST in the state.
On June 7, the state cabinet headed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti cleared the draft legislation on GST but decided to convene a special session of the Assembly on June 17 to discuss its implementation.
However, the government had faced flak from opposition and business community for rushing into the decision of implementation of GST.