Stage set for GST rollout, says Finance Minister Jaitley

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Tarigami said that is the reason Opposition parties are demanding a separate state law for implementing GST in Jammu and Kashmir. While the Jammu traders demanded implementation of the GST without any delay, the Kashmir traders are up in arms declaring that it will never be allowed to be implemented in the state.

Criticizing the state government for not showing any interest in the implementation of GST, Gupta said that as per the statement of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely State will have to face with double taxation system which will break the backbone of trading community.

In a letter to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Jaitley had said that the state has actively participated in the GST deliberations and should join the nation-wide wide roll out of Goods and Services Tax from July 1.

Regarding GST, Drabu said it would be an integrated tax regime which would replace 16 taxes now being levied by the Centre and the State Government.

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Discussing about tax slabs, Jaitley said that government couldn't settle for lesser than four tax slabs - 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% - as it could have been inflationary. "In short, traders can use this PIN and Password to update their current information on the GST portal having URL www.gst.gov.in", Additional Commissioner Department of Commercial Taxes Dr Shameed Ahmed said.

Drabu said the state government has reached out to the opposition parties of the state and sent them all the relevant documents.

The GST Bill was originally piloted by President Mukherjee when he was finance minister in the Congress-led UPA regime. "Let us understand what their views are", he had said. However, he insisted there are adequate safeguards that will make GST implement nearly a seamless issue with obvious teething problems initially. He also addressed a press conference yesterday during which he explained all points that implementation of GST will not affect the financial and political autonomy being enjoyed the state under Article-370. Opinion is divided in the State due to the fear that the GST might impinge on the State's special status.

An influential group of citizens from Kashmir termed the government proposal to extend 101st Constitutional Amendment for the introduction of GST in the state a "lethal assault" on its autonomy. Besides, it will also entail amending Section 5 of J&K Constitution which can't be done.

While answering to question that why he used to oppose GST before coming into power, Drabu said: "I have not changed my position on GST but the tax has evolved in the last few years and it is a first federal initiative in which states have a huge say".

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