Srinagar: The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) has asked the government to make public its draft of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislation. The KCCI said in a statement issued on Wednesday that it had a right to put forward its view on the GST.
“KCCI being an important stakeholder should be given an opportunity to put forward its point of view on the issue before the committee of legislators recently constituted for discussing GST legislation. Besides, alternate measures to be taken by the government from 01-07-2017 when GST law will be rolled out in other states, needs to be spelt out without wasting any time,” the statement said.
The KCCI said it would not allow the implementation of GST in its present form as it compromises the financial autonomy and special status of J&K. “For that purpose, the Chamber will take all the measures at its command to prevent its implementation,” the business organisation said.
In a similar statement, the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) accused the government of playing “dirty politics” over the GST. It said that “sinister designs behind this controversy were getting exposed with each passing day.”
In a statement, KTMF president Mohammad Yaseen Khan said that if the government would have been honest on GST, it would have put its version of the GST legislation in the public domain.
“But the reality is that to please some hidden masters, the government has been issuing self-contradictory statements, as was visible today in news reports that senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Beg has distanced himself from the all-party committee on holding consultations for extending the GST to the state,” Khan said.
Appealing to the business community of Jammu for unity, Khan said that it was time to be united for the cause of the state and its special status. “Let’s not look at timely monetary benefits but at safeguarding the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by virtue of Article 370,” he said.
“The conspiracy behind the GST is evident from the fact that the government which hosted All India GST meet in Srinagar was least concerned towards the interests of this state,” Khan said.
He said that the trade community had been pushed to confusion and appealed Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to make her stand clear before the public.