J&K GST law gets President’s nod; Oppn boycotts Assembly

RSTV Bureau
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu addresses to pass the State Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill on the last day of Special Session of Legislative Assembly,in Srinagar on Friday.

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu addresses to pass the State Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill on the last day of Special Session of Legislative Assembly,in Srinagar on Friday.

President Pranab Mukherjee today gave nod to an order pertaining to implementation of the Goods and Services Tax regime in Jammu and Kashmir, clearing decks for the state assembly for enacting a State GST law.

Official sources said that the President cleared the order and sent it to Ministry of Home Affairs for further action.

The PDP-BJP government had passed a resolution on Wednesday in the assembly after which the state cabinet under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti cleared a draft order for concurrence of the President.

Jammu and Kashmir is the only state which is yet to implement the GST which was rolled out in rest of the country on July 1.

An independent MLA shouts slogans against the GST bill as Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu addresses to pass the State Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill on the last day of Special Session of Legislative Assembly,in Srinagar on Friday. The GST bill was passed amid protest by opposition.  PTI Photo

An independent MLA shouts slogans against the GST bill as Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu addresses to pass the State Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill on the last day of Special Session of Legislative Assembly,in Srinagar on Friday. The GST bill was passed amid protest by opposition. PTI Photo

The presidential order, which was concurred by state Governor N N Vohra, relates to the application of certain  provisions of the Constitution of India through an order of the President issued under Article 370 that gives special status to the state.

Meanwhile in Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, the entire opposition boycotted the proceedings over GST implementation, accusing the PDP-BJP government of using subterfuge to undermine the Constitution of the state.

As soon as the House assembled, CPI(M) MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said the government had violated the etiquette of the Assembly by bringing in the Jammu and Kashmir GST Bill 2017 before informing the House about the presidential order passed for extending the GST regime to the state.

Nawang Rigzin Jora of Congress accused the government of undermining the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir in the way the GST legislation and the presidential order was handled.

The Government is resorting to subterfuge to undermine the special constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir, Jora said before leading his party MLAs to boycott the rest of the proceedings of the session.

Tarigami and PDF chairman Hakim Mohammad Yasin also staged a walkout from the proceedings after recording their protest.

The entire opposition benches became empty when independent lawmaker from Langate Sheikh Abdul Rashid also walked out of the House just before the GST bill moved by Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu was moved for consideration and passing.

Members from principal opposition party, National Conference, did not attend the House today as they had announced their decision to boycott the proceedings for the rest of the session.

The core group decided that the NC legislators will boycott the remaining part of the legislative session as a protest against the government’s “machinations to trample the aspirations of the people by demolishing the state’s special status,” a party spokesman said.

He said the “anti-people” resolution is an unequivocal compromise with the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.