July 2017 News

GST In J&K, New Rules Of Game

5 July 2017
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Arun Joshi

Srinagar: As the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly passed a resolution today for implementing GST amidst a protest by the Opposition, new red lines seem to have been drawn by the Mehbooba Mufti government that any Central law cannot be extended to the state without the issue being debated and given clearance in the state legislature. Till now, New Delhi needed the state Cabinet's 'concurrence' to extend Central laws to the state. Forty-six amendments have been extended with the 'concurrence' of the state Cabinet since 1953. But now, the rules of game have apparently changed. The Peoples Democratic Party has propounded itself as being different from the other Kashmir-centric parties, bringing the legislature into the picture before extending GST into the state. Though symbolic, convening the special session indicated a change in approach. Earlier, the Government of India would take the route of the Presidential Order after 'concurrence' of the state government - that is the Cabinet. Coalition partner BJP had voiced its helplessness on the matter, taking the plea that it had a strength of 25 in the House of 87 as compared to 28 MLAs of the PDP. Party chief and Jammu (West) MLA Sat Pal Sharma said, 'Our party does not have enough strength to implement GST in its original form in the state.' It is a clear indication that the PDP has shown, and forcefully, that it would not accept anything from the Centre in its original form. 'We will ensure that all safeguards are granted under Article 370 (that grants special status to the state),' Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti maintained all throughout the GST debate.As the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly passed a resolution today for implementing GST amidst a protest by the Opposition, new red lines seem to have been drawn by the Mehbooba Mufti government that any Central law cannot be extended to the state without the issue being debated and given clearance in the state legislature. Till now, New Delhi needed the state Cabinet's 'concurrence' to extend Central laws to the state. Forty-six amendments have been extended with the 'concurrence' of the state Cabinet since 1953. But now, the rules of game have apparently changed. (Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd) The Peoples Democratic Party has propounded itself as being different from the other Kashmir-centric parties, bringing the legislature into the picture before extending GST into the state. Though symbolic, convening the special session indicated a change in approach. Earlier, the Government of India would take the route of the Presidential Order after 'concurrence' of the state government - that is the Cabinet. Coalition partner BJP had voiced its helplessness on the matter, taking the plea that it had a strength of 25 in the House of 87 as compared to 28 MLAs of the PDP. Party chief and Jammu (West) MLA Sat Pal Sharma said, 'Our party does not have enough strength to implement GST in its original form in the state.' It is a clear indication that the PDP has shown, and forcefully, that it would not accept anything from the Centre in its original form. 'We will ensure that all safeguards are granted under Article 370 (that grants special status to the state),' Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti maintained all throughout the GST debate.

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