‘GST if implemented in current form will prove the last nail in the coffin of state’s autonomy’

Srinagar: Accusing PDP-BJP Government of compromising with the ‘last remnants’ of the state’s autonomy, business community from Kashmir Valley Wednesday said that it will be the last nail in the coffin of State autonomy if Goods and Service Tax (GST) will be extended to the state in the current form.

Renowned businessman and civil society member Shakeel Qalandar while talking to news agency CNS said that Central Government from time to time has eroded the autonomy of the state by offering short term sops and this time too Bhartiya Janata Party will surely offer the PDP some short term financial sops for the state as an incentive for backing the ratification of the bill in the State Assembly.

“These sops have always strip us from our identity and the autonomy. The autonomy of Jammu Kashmir Bank was ended by offering Rs 1300 crore aid. Every time we have seen how Central Government snatched our autonomy by offering financial sops to the people at the helm of affairs. If this time around same happens, we will resist and raise our voice against this. Implementing GST in Jammu and Kashmir will have disastrous ramifications for the state government as well as for the businessmen,” Qalandar said.

“Our State has the power to tax goods and services, while as the other states of the India have the power to tax goods only. As one of the last remnants of the state’s autonomy, this is a highly crucial issue for Jammu & Kashmir. The incumbent Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu tried to befool us when he claimed that Empowered Committee has agreed that the GST will not be extended to the state in the current form. The Finance Minister himself knows he can’t stop the New Delhi from implementing it in Jammu and Kashmir. We will be left out with nothing if PDP on the behest of BJP will implement the GST in the State. It is a serious issue and we must take serious note of it,” he said.

Shakeel Qalandar said that Government needs to take a well-thought out and considered position on the matter. “Keeping the past experience in view, it seems that by accepting short term financial sops, the PDP led government will succumb to the pressure from the BJP. If this happens, it will be the final nail in the coffin our autonomy,” he said. (CNS)

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