June 2017 News

Govt, Traders, Consumers Will Suffer In J&K For Missing GST Bus: Jaitley

20 June 2017
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today did some plain speaking on confusion in Jammu and Kashmir over implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), which could lead the State to miss the nation in joining 'one tax structure' that would be rolled out on the mid-night of June 30 and July 1 by top Constitutional and political authorities of India including President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Dr Hamid Ansari, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi this afternoon announcing launch of the GST countrywide on June 30-July 1 midnight, Jaitley said only two States-Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala have not given their nod to the GST so far but said Kerala was almost on board and would be switching over to the new tax regime. Reply to a question on delay in implementation of GST in Jammu and Kashmir, Jaitley said it would not only be the State but the consumers as well as traders would also suffer, where the 'One Nation, One Tax' regime is not made applicable. 'Both traders and consumers will suffer loss due to delay in implementation of GST (in Jammu and Kashmir). While the consumers will get materials, which is costlier than rest of the country, the traders will have to pay the tax twice. Moreover, the traders will not get the benefit of input tax,' the Finance Minister said. 'At the same time, the State Government will not get compensation package, which included guaranteed revenue plus 14 per cent interest for five years,' Jaitley said, adding this way the State, the consumers and traders all would suffer due to delay in implementation of the GST by the State Government. Asserting that Jammu and Kashmir has been citing 'Special Provisions of the Constitution' though it was not opposed to the GST regime, Jaitley said the consumers as well as traders will have to pay both Central as well as State taxes in the absent of new tax regime. Describing GST as consumer as well as trade friendly, the Finance Minister said only Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir have so far not approved the new Act. However, he was confident that Kerala would shortly join the GST bus, which has been conveyed by the State Government. Meanwhile, sources pointed out that consumers in Jammu and Kashmir would have to bear the brunt of PDP-BJP Government decision to delay implementation of GST in the State as they would not only have to pay additional taxes but there were also apprehensions that some items could disappear from the market for brief period. Admitting that delay in part of the PDP-BJP Government in implementation of the GST could lead to chaos, sources said uncertainty created by the Government would cost the consumers dearly. Even a number of traders were supporting implementation of the Act as they feared that their trade with other States could come to a halt due to two different tax structures-one in Jammu and Kashmir and another in rest of the country. The people were of the view that the State BJP leadership hasn't been able to exert pressure on the PDP to implement the GST in time to join the country in 'One Nation, One Tax' regime. Instead, they said, the Government has succumbed to the pressure of opposition parties and Kashmir based traders, to delay implementation of the new tax regime, which has been adopted by 168 countries. Sources pointed out that North-East region of the country, which has most under-developed too had apprehensions initially over implementation of the GST. However, Minister Incharge North East Dr Jitendra Singh personally visited each and every North Eastern State, met the Government and trade representatives and allayed their apprehensions. As a result, all North-Eastern States have now agreed to implement the GST. PTI adds from New Delhi:- The Government will not blink on rolling out the GST from July 1, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today, emphasising that businesses cannot give any excuse for not being ready as enough time was given to them for preparation. However, implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will unify more than a dozen separate levies to create a single market, may result in 'some disruption' and 'technological glitches' initially as traders and the smallest of businesses will have to file returns online, he added. GST, which was originally planned to be implemented from April 1 but was deferred by three months, will be launched at a grand function in the historic Central Hall of Parliament on the midnight of June 30. The biggest tax reform since Independence, which will gradually re-shape India's business landscape by making the world's fastest-growing major economy an easier place to do business in, would bring down barriers between 30 States and unifying the USD 2 trillion economy and 1.3 billion people into a single market. Jaitley said GST over the medium to long term will lead to higher revenues to Centre and States while also increasing the size of the economy and having a positive impact on the GDP.