GST Extended To Jammu and Kashmir

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Jammu and Kashmir was the only state in India where GST was not implemented on July 1’2017 like it was in rest of the country. The President of India Pranab Mukherjee recently agreed to an order regarding to the enactment of the Goods and Services Tax in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the clearance of different levels for the state assembly for implementation of a State GST law.

After the order from the President, the order was sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs for the action ahead, the GST news states. The move came when the PDP-BJP government had passed a resolution in the state assembly after which the state cabinet with the chairmanship of the Chief Minister of J&K Mehbooba Mufti passed the draft order for correspondence of the President.

The Finance Minister of J&K, Haseeb Drabu, had also said that after receiving the order of GST from the President, the state government will discuss it with the Assembly for implementation of a State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) bill. Though the finance minister of the state believes that the government need not bring the resolution in assembly but it did so in the favor of democracy and also to get an idea how the house reacts on the issue. However, this move was termed by opposition as a “sham”.

For the first time ever in the history of the state of Jammu and Kashmir assembly, a resolution which had a presidential order on a constitutional amendment was discussed and passed, the legal news confirms.

The president’s nod was also in the concurrence by the state Governor N N Vohra. The order initiated by the President is closely related to the application of some provisions of the Constitution of India through an order of the President issued under Article 370 which makes the state of J&K, a special state.

The state of J&K finally on July 7th passed the GST bill though the opposition had boycotted this move. The GST bill was adopted by a voice vote because the opposition members had boycotted the proceedings. They accused the government of discouraging the special status of the state by seeking a presidential order on GST.

Before moving the GST bill for discussion and passing by the state assembly, the finance minister of the state had read out all the contents of the presidential order regarding the special status of the state and its exclusive taxation powers. The order read that the powers of the state of Jammu and Kashmir as per Section 5 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, will remain intact. The order further said that the state legislature will have the powers to make laws with respect to goods and services tax levied by the state.

The finance ministry said that because J&K is a special state, some extra steps had to be taken to pass the GST bill, hence the delay. With this rule, the GST is now applicable all across the country making GST as “One nation, one tax”.

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