Goods & Services Tax (GST) will replace all indirect taxes levied on goods & services by the Central & State Governments. It will be implemented concurrently in the entire country by the Central & state governments as CGST & SGST respectively. “With the road map of implementation of GST nearing its destination and likely to be effective from 01st April 2017 nationwide, the state of J&K needs to do a lot of spade work to ensure its timely implementation and not to be left out from its ambit,” according to Brig Anil Gupta, State Spokesperson of BJP. He further said that GST is a game changer and will give a major boost to the national economy. As per the experts the GST will be more beneficial to ‘consuming states’ viz a viz ‘supplying states’, “our state being primarily a ‘consuming state’ will be a major beneficiary of the new GST regime and gainer in revenue. On the contrary if J&K is the only state left out of its ambit there will be chaos and our trade, commerce and industry will be severely affected,” warned Brig Gupta.
The constitutional concern raised by the J&K Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu may be genuine but not insurmountable. The benefits of GST far outweigh its negatives and the concerns of those opposing GST are unfounded. In view of Art. 370, the GOI cannot enforce any law in the state of J&K without the approval or concurrence of the government of the state except in case of defence, communications and external affairs. But there have been numerous instances in the past where the Central Acts beneficial to the state have been adopted by the state after following the laid down constitutional procedure. Our state’s economy is very closely linked to the national economy and we cannot afford to be left behind especially at the time when the rest of the country is looking forward to the benefits of a booming economy argued the Spokesperson.
The argument that it would erode the state’s taxation autonomy is flawed, baseless and unfounded according to Brig Anil Gupta. Even at present the Central Excise Duty and CST are being levied by the central government in the state which will be merged with the CGST and the Sales ax being levied by the state would be termed SGST. The state government which is taxing only a few services now will be able to generate more revenue by taxing all services after the implementation of GST explained Brig Gupta.
BJP is of the opinion that non-implementation of GST will be harmful for the state and the inter-state trade will be adversely affected. Industry in the state will be a major sufferer and future investments in the industrial sector in the state would cease leading to large scale unemployment and lack of jobs. BJP therefore demands removal of all hurdles and concurrent implementation of GST in the state with rest of the nation.