Rhetoric apart, we must study the whole subject objectively
This refers to Dr. Shafia Wani’s article `The GST Matters’ (Greater Kashmir June 15, 2017). I congratulate the author for being concerned about the fate of GST and its implementation without any dilution of states fiscal and taxation autonomy. The author has explained the concept of GST and how it benefits the common man and more particularly the business community. The GST is a destination based consumed tax and our state is by and large a consumer state and naturally J&K will be more benefited as compared to other industrial states.
I want to correct the author that 25 states & four union territories have already cleared their respective State GST Laws (SGST). The only three states which are yet to clear the SGST Law are Tamil Nadu, Kerala & Jammu & Kashmir. The West Bengal has cleared the SGST Bill in the last week & Punjab has passed the SGST Law on 19-06-2017. Similarly the GST Council has cleared most of the set of rules in its series of Council meetings held in June 2017. Notifications are expected to come before the GST Council meet to be held on 30-06-2017 in New Delhi. The Council has not cleared four set of rules only but most of the rules have been cleared by GST Council in its meetings held from 18-05-2017 to 18-06-2017. Three crucial GST Council meetings were held after its meeting in Srinagar on 18th. & 19th. May 2017.
The GST will not only boost the economy but will also ease the business as the self assessment based system has been widened. There are almost 17 Centers and State Taxes which are being subsumed under GST. The barrier system & check posts are being abolished under GST and their role has been marginalized.
If we opt to remain out of GST regime then it is very difficult to do the business with the rest of the states of India and cascading effect will again emerge and our business community will be at the receiving end. It is true that common people and most of business men have no knowledge about the GST and have arrived at a conclusion that GST is harmful for all purposes. GST should be debated not only in the Assembly but also in and outside the institutions. Let’s make the general public and business community aware about it. We must try to clear the doubts in minds of the people about it. I am sure that the state and its Finance Minister will definitely take care of all the issues related to J&K ‘s special status under Article 370 of the constitution. Of course it is a responsibility of J&K Assembly to have a consensus on how they want to implement the GST while keeping in view the Special Status intact.