First time in JK that any amendment is discussed in Assembly: CM on GST

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Saturday said the government wants to debate the extension of Goods and Services Tax so that people come to know the advantages and disadvantages of the tax regime.

Mehbooba said that the several central laws were extended to the state since 1947 and it is for the first time that any central law to be extended to the state is being widely discussed to inform people about its ramifications.

“Since 1947, several Central laws were extended to the state after chief secretaries signed on the papers. This has happened for the first time that the GST is being debated in the Assembly. We called the special session on it because we wanted to involve all stakeholders and inform them what government wants to do with the law. We want to empower the House. Some say it is an attack on the special position of the state. We want to discuss it so that people know about its advantages. If there are any disadvantages we want to discuss how to rectify them,” she said in her speech in the Legislative Assembly while paying obituaries to deceased legislators and Governor G C Saxena.

A special session of Assembly was called from today for extension of GST to the state, but the assembly was adjourned by the Speaker, Kavinder Gupta, after opposition parties and traders objected to extend the GST in its present form and demanded more debate on its implementation.

Mehbooba said that dialogue is the only way out to resolve the Kashmir issue and the prevailing situation.

“We should all put our heads together and find a common cause and move forward. Until we get together, we cannot find a solution to the issue,” she said, referring to the Opposition, National Conference and Congress parties who protested against the government in the Assembly on the present situation and absence of dialogue which PDP and BJP has promised in its Agenda of Alliance.

Hitting out at National Conference, Mehbooba blamed the party for stalling democracy in Jammu and Kashmir by rigging elections. “Whatever destruction we are witnessing today is because you (NC) choked the voice of democracy in the state. And because of choking democracy, we are today seeing a 12 year old boy running to an encounter site with stones in his hands. Because of election rigging, people like Yasin Malik and Syed Sallahudin were born,” she said.

The CM was reacting to the accusations of National Conference, whose senior leader, Shafi Uri blamed the PDP-BJP coalition for failing to start dialogue on resolution of Kashmir issue.

On starting dialogue with Hurriyat leaders, Mehbooba said that the separatists closed the doors of All Party Delegation members when they knocked on their doors during unrest in 2016.

“I as PDP leader, and as Chief Minister too, wrote a letter to them for meeting with All Party Delegation, but they rejected it,” she said.

“The dialogue is in our Agenda of Alliance; it was in our manifesto and was also in the common minimum programme of the PDP-Congress government. Military and gun is no solution to the problem. Several wars were fought but the problem still persists and our people are getting killed. We have to think how to stop the bloodshed,” she said.

She asked all political parties to be united and fight for a “common cause” of the Kashmir issue. “It can be only resolved through dialogue. Democracy is the battle of ideas. Indian is progressing because of its democracy,” she said.


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