Opposition persists with wider debate on draft bill
Srinagar, Jun 14: As opposition political parties have demanded postponement of Special session on extension of Goods and Services Tax, the Business Advisory Committee of the Legislative Assembly will decide whether the session is to be held on schedule or deferred.
Sources in Assembly Secretariat told KNS that the Business Advisory Committee will sit in a few days to decide the fate of the session.
The opposition political parties who had attended the All Parties Meeting on GST at SKICC on Tuesday had demanded the session be postponed till the new tax regime is widely debated and a consensus arrived for its extension to Jammu and Kashmir.
The special assembly session on GST is scheduled from June 17 to 21. Though the preparations in the Assembly secretariat are going on for the session, sources said that assembly will sit for one day to hold the obituary session and then the chairman may call off the session till a consensus is reached on the bill.
Sources in the Assembly Secretariat told KNS that the notification for Business Advisory Committee will be issued in a few days which will decide the further course of the session.
Sources in the assembly told KNS the law department had issued summon for the session last week. “Now it is the prerogative of Speaker Legislative Assembly and Chairman Legislative Council to take a decision about the session,” sources told KNS.
Speaker Legislative Assembly Kavinder Gupta told KNS that nothing has been discussed yet about deferring the session. “We are busy with the preparations of the session. Infact, today I held a meeting with Press Committee about the scheduled session on GST,” Gupta told KNS.
However, the opposition political parties, including national Conference, Congress, CPI (M) State Secretary and MLA Kulgam, M Y Tarigami, MLA Kulgam Hakeem Yaseen, are persisting in their demand for wider debate on GST.
“The government has to take a decision on deferring the session on GST. Congress party has cleared that it will not compromise the fiscal autonomy of the state by extension of GST in its present form, and we will persist with our demand till a broader consensus is reached on GST extension and how the new tax regime will safeguard the fiscal and constitutional autonomy of the state,” senior Congress leader and MLC, G N Monga told KNS.
National Conference Provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani told KNS that the government should not extend the GST in hush-hush manner.
“Successive governments in New Delhi have been debating GST since 2000 when a committee was set up by then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and the debate is still going on. Why should the government in our state hurry in extending the tax regime here,” Wani told KNS.
GST draft bill was passed by the PDP-BJP cabinet and the government has said that the tax regime won’t infringe the fiscal and constitutional autonomy of the state.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti told the All Party Meeting the implementation of GST regime in the State is a subject matter of collective decision by every section of society and not of Government alone and the government was open to suggestions from all sections including political quarters and business class. (KNS)