Jammu and Kashmir Govt to introduce GST bill in next Assembly session

Srinagar: In bid to implement, the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said on Thursday that state will introduce the bill in next 30 days in state legislature.

“We will go into the GST regime. However, as we have a special constitutional position, we will try and make some changes,” Drabu told reporters on the sidelines of the 14th meeting of the GST council at the SKICC in Srinagar.

He said J&K draws power to tax from Section 5 of its Constitution, whereas all other states of India draw their powers from Article 246 of Constitution of India.
“So, some changes have to be made,” he saif, further adding, J&K was mulling over bringing the real estate section under the GST.

He said the common people would have many benefits of the bill as it would decrease the cascading effect of taxes.

The bill will benefit states like J&K that depends greatly on imports. “As per our estimate, we will have Rs 1500 to Rs2000 crore profits in tax revenue. The prices of several commodities will fall in coming three years,” he said.

The Finance Minister also said the GST is perhaps India’s largest and most significant tax reform.

“This meeting about GST is very crucial as it involves a lot of public interest, like what taxes you have on salt, on cigarettes, on ships, so it affects the general public. So it is a very important meeting and perhaps it is towards the concluding part of the GST council,” he said.

Dr Drabu said the historic meeting will make Jammu and Kashmir part of the economic history aimed at reordering the country’s federal polity. “We are now part of the national policy making which will be recorded in the history,” he said.

The meeting of the 14th GST Council began in Srinagar today marking participation of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Finance Ministers of all the states, Finance Secretaries and other taxation officials from the states and union territories.

As soon as the meeting started, Jaitley informed the gathering about the sad demise of Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave who passed away today at the age of 60 at his residence in the national capital.

The meeting observed two minutes silence in remembrance of Dave. Jaitley complimented the JK Finance Minister Dr Haseeb A Drabu and the state government for making outstanding arrangements for the final leg of the GST Council before the law is rolled out on July 1 this year.

The Union Finance Minister assured the J&K Government that the Center will extend all possible help in restructuring the GST implementation for Jammu and Kashmir while respecting the special status of the state.

The meeting will last for two days, in which the delegates will decide the tax bands for various commodities under the country’s first, major indirect tax reform.

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