Governor Satya Pal Malik has directed the state administration for constitution of a committee for 'a rational decision' on Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) demand to abolish state toll tax at Lakhanpur.
According to an official spokesperson, the direction was issued by the governor during his meeting with a delegation of JCCI, which was headed by the chamber president Rakesh Gupta.
Advisor to the governor K Skandan, chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, principal secretary UmangNarula, principal secretary finance Navin Kumar Choudhary, principal secretary industries and commerce ShaleenKabra were also present in the meeting.
The delegation apprised the governor about various issues relating to the industries, commerce and agriculture sector in the state and demanded implementation of 'One Nation One Tax' in the state and abolishing of state toll tax on goods at Lakhanpur, according to the spokesperson.
The JCCI delegation said only those products having low margins should be protected by levies; additional government support should only be given to industries dealing with products having low profit margins and not to industries having huge turnovers; raised objections to giving industrial incentives package and toll tax exemption to manufacturers of insecticides and pesticides and early allotment of land for the construction of 'Dry Port' as per the MOU signed between J&K Government and the Dubai Ports World.
"Governor assured the delegation appropriate consideration of their demands and directed the chief secretary to constitute a committee comprising representatives from the government and the industries and commerce sector for developing a consensus on projected issues and taking rational decisions in this regard," said the spokesperson.
After implementation of GST in July 2017 in Jammu and Kashmir, then state government had decided to continue with the levy of toll tax arguing that it will provide level playing field for the small local manufactures and producers with the big industries outside the state.
Off late some industrial bodies have locked horns with each either over the issue. While JCCI is demanding it abolition, other industrial bodies like Federation of Industries Jammu (FOIJ) and Federation of Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) are saying the abolition of the toll will prove a "death knell" for the local industries of the state.
In a joint statement, representatives of Jammu industrial association and FCIK said recently that the toll tax at Lakhanpur is a safeguard for the industrial sector of the state to check the import and export of unaccounted goods, contraband and other banned items to and from other parts of the country.