Rather seeks safeguards to JK’s constitutional guarantees prior to its implementation

Empowered Committee Of State Finance Ministers Meet In Odhisa To Finalize GST

Bhubneshwar, Jan 28: Minister for Finance & Ladakh Affairs Abdul Rahim Rather today enjoined upon the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) that before finalization of its recommendation on the Constitutional (115th Amendment) Bill 2011, it should be ensured that the constitutionally guaranteed special status of the Jammu and Kashmir is not ignored adding that the issues that have remained irritants between various States and Union of India also need to be addressed earnestly.
 Speaking at the crucial meeting of the Empowered Committee (EC) of Finance Ministers convened here to finalize the roadmap for Implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime all over India, Rather sought incorporation of suitable provisions in the proposed Article 279-A,  and Article 279 B to provide safeguards to the State’s constitutional position adding that, it was glad to note that the committee on GST Design has recognized the constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir on this count and have recommended that in clause 4 of Article 279–A, a special scheme for Northern Eastern State and the Jammu and Kashmir should be allowed.
 “As a matter of fact, the division of powers between the Union of India and the State of Jammu and Kashmir is not at the same footing as it is in respect of other States of the Union”, Rather said adding that the State of Jammu and Kashmir enjoys a special status under the Constitution of India and its Constitutional relationship with the Union of India is governed by Article 370 of the Constitution of India as amended vide Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Orders, promulgated from to time by the President of India. Moreover, with the implementation of GST regime the position of Jammu and Kashmir State would be entirely different as compared to the other States of the Union. All other States would be surrendering the exclusive authority to tax goods and, in turn, get the additional authority to tax the hither to out of bound “service sector”.
 On the contrary, the State of Jammu and Kashmir, being already competent to tax goods as well as services, unlike other States, would not get any additional authority except a share from the Central divisible pool, Mr. Rather maintained.
 An official statement said the EC of the State Finance Ministers was chaired by its Chairman, Sushil Kumar Modi, who is also Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister of Bihar and attended by the Finance Ministers of different states of the Country.
 Rather hoped that before moving forward to firm up the Model GST Act and IGST Act, today’s meeting of the EC of State Finance Minister’s on GST will, besides, recommending implementation of the two-Committees, will also bridge all gaps which they have not been able to fill at their level including proposed Dual Integrated Model of GST and the CST compensation which has remained Irritant between the States and Union of India adding that this will be a step forward to remove mutual trust deficit and will facilitate introduction of GST.
 Rather said that though the Committee on GST Design has made an attempt to arrive at consensus on fundamental issues such as features which essentially need to be common across the country, definitions under GST, Schedule for GST Rates and common exemptions, invoicing and book keeping, assessment, audit review etc. However, there are still certain issues of vital importance, which have remained unresolved e.g. ‘Dual Control’, Appeals, Offences and Penalties. ‘Dual Control’ both by States and Centre is perceived as an impediment in the implementation of Goods and Services Tax. The States strongly feel that “Dual Control” is not dealer friendly and that its workability may also suffer due to conflicting and diverse rulings, orders and clarification on the same subject, same dealer or same transaction. It may also not be an administratively an efficient tool of recovering the taxes.
 “I hope and trust that today’s meeting will address this  issue and such other issues and move forward to firm up the Model GST Act and IGST Act”, Rather added.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 29 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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