Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) chairman, Harsh Dev Singh, on Sunday, asserted that the modified Goods and Services and Tax (GST) in Jammu and Kashmir would isolate the state from rest of the country.
He was critical of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister for giving credit to alliance partner BJP, for keeping its promise of safeguarding the special status of the state by helping adopt a modified GST.
Harsh Dev recalled the supreme sacrifice of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, the founder member of Bhartiya Jana Sangh, who laid down his life in Srinagar for the abolition of special status and wanted total integration of the state with the Indian Union.
He said that the state assembly had adopted the resolution of implementation of modified GST on July 5 through a presidential order that safeguarded the ‘special status’ and ‘exclusive taxation powers’ of the state.
He added that subsequently the President accorded his assent and issued the order on modified GST on July 6, which also marked the 117th birth anniversary of Dr. Mookerjee. He further said that the both the houses passed the GST bill with a voice vote to facilitate its implementation in the state from July 8, the day when the secessionists and the anti-nationals were commemorating the death anniversary of Burhan Wani in the Valley.
Harsh Dev admonished the PDP-BJP coalition government for succumbing to the pressure and dictates of the secessionist forces in the Valley. He said that the state government had indirectly conveyed to the subversive camps that it had implemented the modified version of GST and not the original one, which was in effect in all the other states.
Analysing both the dates (July 6 and July 8) which made an allegory of ‘victory of evil over good’, he said that while July 6 belittled the nationalists, July 8 glorified the militants and the separatists in the state.
Taking a dig on the PDP-BJP government, he said that one of the safeguards in the modified GST included the retention of Lakhanpur Toll Plaza with a motive to impose additional “Jazia” on all pilgrims, tourists besides goods and services entering the state of Jammu and Kashmir. He said that the retention of Lakhanpur tax when all such entry points across the country had been abolished under the new tax regime, was violative of the principle of ‘One tax, One nation’.
He further questioned the exclusion of cross LoC trade from the purview of GST as it was under the NIA scanner for importing ‘hawala money’ to fund terror in the state. He further questioned the proposal of the state government to impose the supplementary taxes and cesses in addition to GST under the smokescreen of special status of the state.
“Despite BJP’s rule at the Centre and in the state, it was a matter of shame that GST like in other states was not implemented in Jammu and Kashmir in its original form on the midnight of July 1. The national slab of 28 per cent of GST is the highest in the world and additional levies and cesses in the state would make essential commodities costlier and it shall be vigorously agitated by the Panthers party,” he said.
NPP spokesperson, Gagan Pratap Singh and state secretary PTU, Parshottam Parihar were also present in the press conference.