J&K finally joins GST from tonight

NEW DELHI
7 Jul 2017

Jammu and Kashmir, the only state to miss the GST rollout bus on July 1, will join the new tax regime from tonight as the state Assembly passed a bill in this regard on Friday amid opposition boycott.
The Jammu and Kashmir Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017, moved by Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, was adopted by a voice vote in the absence of opposition parties which accused the PDP-BJP government of undermining the special status of the state.
The bill was moved in the Assembly after a Presidential Order which gave an assurance on preservation of the special status of the state guaranteed by Article 370 of the Constitution.
Drabu said the GST regime will roll out in the state at midnight tonight, making Jammu and Kashmir the last state to join the new tax regime.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti sought to allay apprehensions over the GST law, saying anything that is good for the country cannot be bad for Jammu and Kashmir.
Before moving the bill for consideration and passing by the state assembly, the finance minister read out the contents of the Presidential Order pertaining to the special status of the state and its exclusive taxation powers.
He said there was no tradition of tabling a Presidential Order in the Assembly but the PDP-BJP government was starting a new one by tabling this order.
"Notwithstanding anything contained in this Order, the powers of the state of Jammu and Kashmir as per Section 5 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, shall remain intact," said the Order which was read out by Drabu.
"The legislature of the state of Jammu and Kashmir shall have the powers to make laws with respect to goods and services tax levied by the state," the document said.
The legislature of the state of Jammu and Kashmir shall have exclusive powers to make laws in respect of imposition of any taxes enabled by section 5 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, Drabu added.
"Notwithstanding anything contained in clause 4 to clause 11 for the purpose of any decision impinging on constitutional provisions relating to the state of Jammu nand Kashmir, the concurrence of the representative of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the Goods and Services Tax Council shall be mandatory and the procedure provided under Article 370 shall be followed," the Presidential Order read.