GST will erode Article 370, PDP misleading people: NC’s Rahim Rather

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Lashing out at People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for misleading people of J&K about Goods and Services Tax (GST), Senior National Conference leader and former state finance minister, Abdul Rahim Rather on Sunday said that it will erode the Article 370 if implemented in same form.

Addressing media persons in Srinagar, Rather said that GST is serious matter for NC and for the people of Kashmir. “During All-party meet on June 13, we asked government to make a proposal so that we get to know what they are going to do but till now we have not received any response  from government side so far, “ he said.

Rather questioned PDP-BJP dispensation for convening special session of the Legislative Assembly on GST when it has already decided to introduce it in Jammu and Kashmir.

The former finance minister said the NC-led state government in 2012 had prepared a blueprint for a tax regime as it had foreseen the implementation of the GST. He said it prepared the blueprint on its own terms by preserving the state’s special position and fiscal autonomy and took expert legal opinion on the issue.

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A proposal was also sent to the Cabinet which referred it to a sub-committee which okayed it and sent it back to the Cabinet. “A copy of that blueprint is with the Empowered Committee (of the finance ministers of various states). That blueprint can be a way forward. Let the government study it,” Rather said.