Srinagar: A new conflict is brewing in Jammu and Kashmir. The PDP-BJP government is adamant on making the Goods and Services Tax (GST) applicable in the state, but the Opposition has vowed to fight it on the premise that the GST would not only weaken the state’s special status guaranteed under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. It would also cause “irreparable financial losses”, according to them.
The separatists, on the other hand, have accused the state’s finance minister Haseeb A. Drabu of “showing loyalty to Nagpur” by seeking to implement the RSS agenda on Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmir Inc has called for a one-day general strike in the Valley and protest sit-in outside the civil secretariat in Srinagar on Saturday.
National Conference (NC), the main Opposition party, had earlier in June accused the PDP-BJP government of seeking to implement the GST regime in the state “in a hush-hush manner to please the powers that be in New Delhi and thereby bartering the interests of the state and its people to remain in power”. It said that Mr Drabu, “who today is the strongest votary of GST implementation in Jammu and Kashmir, is on record having said ‘come GST and neither the state legislature nor the state Cabinet will have a say on J&K Taxation’”. It asked him to come clean on the issue and “not hoodwink the people of the state”.
A special session of the state legislature is being held here on June 17 to debate the draft legislation on the GST approved by the state Cabinet, which met here earlier in June.