January 2017 News

GST Doesn't Violate Article 370: Drabu

18 January 2017
Greater Kashmir
Syed Rizwan Geelani

Jammu: Stating that the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) doesn't violate Article 370, State Finance Minister Dr. Haseeb Drabu on Wednesday said the government will hold a session in assembly for clarity on its implementation. Speaking during a discussion on demands for grants in Legislative Assembly, Drabu said the government will call for a debate during the ongoing Budget session on the implementation of GST in J&K. 'I believe GST is good for J&K state but we have to discuss its modalities for which we will have a special session to debate the issue and get clarity on it,' Drabu said. He said modalities are being discussed and worked out in GST council meetings. 'After getting clarity on it, we will discuss it in the House,' he said. Stating that the constitutional amendment through which GST has been passed doesn't apply in J&K state, Drabu said implementation of GST won't violate Article 370. Calling for creation of markets for banks, Drabu said the move will help them to sell the properties for which government had proposed creation of JK Asset Reconstruction Company. On SARFAESI Act, the Finance Minister said the solution for the Act was to make market mechanism by which all the state subject property can go to JK Assets Reconstruction Company (ARC). 'It will help to prevail the Transfer of Properties Act which is being upheld by the Supreme Court. With this, SARFAESI Act will not disturb Article 370 at any stage,' he said. He however said the developmental of economic and social infrastructure was only possible if peace prevails in the JK state. He said the government is mulling to spend funds worth Rs 31000 crore (39%) of the total expenditure of Rs 79472 crore on developmental activities for the 2017-18 financial year. 'This huge allocation of funds can be invested for creation of tangible assets if we have peace in state,' he said and claimed that the budget 2017-18 will go a long way in building a stable and progressive socio-economic framework in the state. Referring to the unemployment in the state, he said government was focusing on skill development to address the challenge of employability than unemployment. 'Today, not unemployment but employability is an issue for us as skills required in present job markets are missing and changing the skill profile of our youth will surely result in reducing the unemployment,' he said. 'The overseas corporation did a lot for themselves but has not been able to manage job for anybody in state.' Stating that the members (opposition) have not understood budget, Drabu said efforts have been in the budget 2017-18 to improve public expenditure and speed up the economic growth of the state. 'Government is working to introduce a system which can showcase tangible development on the ground,' he said. Stating that rate of investment on development front has shown an increase from 6.80 percent of State Domestic Product (SPD) in 2011-12 to 10.02 percent in 2016-17 financial year, Finance Minister said increase in budgeted Capex has massively shifted the total percentage of expenditure towards development front. 'The government is providing 40 percent share of our revenue in expenditure which is highest in the country and this expenditure is giving fillip to the economic growth,' he said. The Finance Minister stated that the main focus in 2017-18 financial year will be 'timely rollout' of projects worth Rs 80,000 crore under Prime Minister's Development Package (PMDP) for development and reconstruction of physical and economic infrastructure in the state. He said the government has decided to clear all past liabilities in order to move ahead with the status of clean state. 'DPR based system is being proposed to ensure check on over-cost liabilities. In this system projects backed by proper project reports will be sanctioned,' he said.

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