Saying that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and Section 5 of the JK’s Constitution have been diluted and virtually reduced to husks, National Conference (NC) on Saturday said that the opponents of fiscal autonomy and special position of Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution of India, have been celebrating since the ‘obnoxious GST’ resolution was passed in the state’s legislature.
Addressing a presser here at Nawa-i-Subh, former finance minister and senir NC leader, Abdul Rahim Rather said, “The concerns expressed by the NC and the other stakeholders over the GST implementation were not addressed in the Presidential Order.”
“With the extension of GST, the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and Section 05 of the JK’s Constitution have been virtually reduced to husks. In addition to this, Article 279 A has also been applied to the State in toto,” he said, adding that the through this Presidential Order, the GST Council has retained sweeping powers in respect of Jammu and Kashmir also – as is the case with other States of the Country.
He added that the by virtue of the Presidential Order, the Centre government has been given vast powers to make the laws on the sale of goods and services in Jammu and Kashmir, which earlier was the State’s domain.
The former FM also said that it is very unfortunate that the State’s Chief Minister as also her Finance Minister are deliberately and intentionally concealing the material facts about the GST and its adverse impact on the State’s Special Position.
“Our future generations will not forgive them for this deceitful and questionable collaboration in facilitating the erosion of J&K’s Autonomy,” he said.
The senior NC Leader added while quoting the official minutes of the meeting of the Empowered Committee of the State Finance Ministers of India held at Shillong, Meghalaya on the 18th and 19th of November, 2013.
“In these two meetings the alternative GST model was also discussed at length nullifying the claims of the ruling dispensation that an alternative GST model does not exist at all and was not shared with the empowered committee”, he added.
“Although the rules of procedure and conduct of business in the J&K Legislature specifically restrain the Speaker from allowing any resolution in the Assembly which is vague and ambiguous, yet the Speaker chose to allow it in total disregard of the parliamentary rules and conventions. The State BJP President has publicly expressed his party’s happiness over their sense of ideological victory by saying the extension of GST regime to the State was a ‘beginning of the process of complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union of India’, as widely reported by the media. This has exposed the hollow claims of the ruling PDP-BJP dispensation that the extension of GST regime to J&K State was purely a taxation matter and had nothing to do with the politics and the identity of the State”, Rather further stated.
Rather was accompanied by the Party president, Dr Farooq Abdullah, General Secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar and spokesman, Junaid Matoo.
Addressing the media, Matoo said that the opponents of Fiscal Autonomy and Special Position, available to the State of Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution of India, have been celebrating since the vague, ambiguous and obnoxious resolution was passed in the J&K Legislature.
He said that it had been a consistent stand of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference that extension of GST to J&K at the cost of the State’s Fiscal Autonomy and Special Status would not be acceptable as was made abundantly clear by the party’s representatives in every single All Party and Consultative Group’s meetings held on this issue.