Won’t be party to GST ‘bad designs’, says Congress
The Congress said on Monday it will not become party to any "bad design" the government "seems to have" on the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
State Congress president GA Mir told reporters at a press conference that the government was saying different things in and outside the Assembly.
"There seems to be some bad design. They might pass GST and tell the people all legislators were on board," Mir said.
"We don't want to be part of any such bad design that harms special autonomy and financial powers of the state," he added.
Mir's remarks came a day before the special session of the Assembly that will probably witness the passage of the law mainstream opposition parties, separatists and traders have opposed in its present form.
Mir accused the government of deceiving people by saying that they have achieved a consensus over the implementation of GST.
"We won't step back till the government makes it clear how GST will not erode financial powers of the state," Mir said.
He said during the Congress-led UPA rule at the Centre, which laid the foundations for GST regime, an empowered committee had been directed to safeguard the financial autonomy of J&K.
Hitting out at the PDP-BJP government, Mir said it had failed to present a draft proposal on GST.
He said that except for a theoretical paper it presented during the last all-party meeting, where no consensus could be achieved, the government has done nothing substantial and "appears confused".
He said a decision taken in 2012-13 by the Congress government on GST has been upheld by the PDP-BJP government in 2015 and 2016.
He said that last year finance minister had been directed by PDP-BJP government to take all stakeholders on board and discuss the implications of GST implementation with all legal experts so that taxing process is safe and the state's special status remains intact.
"But since September 2016 this government has been on a bumpy ground regarding GST. It has second thoughts and for last two months it has been totally confused," he said.
"Whether there are pressures from New Delhi for Mehbooba Mutfi to save her chair or whether BJP has become aware of what it had directed the state finance minister during the 2016 cabinet meet has confused matters and confused the government," Mir said.