Minister for Finance, Labour & Employment, Haseeb Drabu on Tuesday moved a resolution in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly to facilitate implementation of GST in the State.
"This House resolves that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir may give consent to the adoption of the GST regime by application of relevant amendments made to the Constitution of India in a modified manner to safeguard the existing special constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir in the Union of India and the legislative powers under the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir," sated the resolution moved by Drabu, according to an official handout.
The resolution was seconded by Minister for Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs and Information, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali.
Highlighting the importance and benefits of the GST, the Finance Minster said that the new tax regime has been rolled out in the entire country except Jammu and Kashmir, which has the special status in view of its own Constitution.
He said it is in the interest of J&K to shift to the new tax regime to protect the interests of the State and all stakeholders.
Seeking support of the House, Drabu said the State Government has brought the issue of extending GST to J&K to the Legislature with the sincerity of purpose.
"The issues of constitutionalism should be debated by lawmakers and settled in this house. This should form the basis of our democracy," he said.
The Finance Minister said the new tax regime is being debated across the country since 2002 and J&K Government is only becoming part of a process in which the Opposition National Conference also participated when the party was in power.
"Jammu and Kashmir has a special place in the Constitution of India, and there is a set procedure for extending Constitutional Amendments to the State. Our intention is to have thorough debate on the draft legislation to clear all aspects related to it. It is not just the Cabinet which can take decisions, but legislature has a very important role in it," he said.
Drabu said the State Government called an All-Party Meeting which was followed by three meetings of All Party Consultative Group on GST to evolve a broader consensus on implementing GST in J&K.
"We are sincere and don't have any devious plans. But not all wisdom rests with the Government and there are other eminent lawmakers in this House who can contribute tremendously on this important law. We want to listen to all viewpoints and take a sense of this House. The Government believes that every legislator has equal right to present their view points and make valuable suggestions. We will try to allay all fears that may emerge in this House, which is the most empowered legislature in the country," he said.