Days after the Centre downplayed the differences with Jammu and Kashmir over contentious issues in the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, the state government has formed a high-level panel for drafting the “legislation” with regard to joining GST in India and its extension to J&K.
The move is aimed at protecting the special constitution position and taxation powers of the state being enjoyed by it.
According to the official notification, the four-member high powered committee included financial commissioner of the Planning, Development and Monitoring Department as its chairman, commissioner-secretary of the Finance Department, secretary of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and commissioner of the Commercial Taxes Department as members.
The order also said, “The committee shall invite Advocate General, J&K, as a special invitee, as and when, required. The committee may co-opt any other officer as member as it may deem, fit.
”“The committee shall draft the legislation with regard to proposed GST in the state while including the measures which can protect the special constitution position and taxation powers of the state being enjoyed by it,” the order said.
The committee will be serviced by the Finance Department and will submit its report within a period of three months.
The proposed GST Bill will come into force across the country from April 1 next year.
On December 3, the Union Finance Ministry had sought to downplay its differences with the J&K and Tamil Nadu governments over the GST implementation, saying that the “consensus” would be evolved over contentious issues during the next GST Council meeting.
“It is not only J&K opposing it (GST in present form), but the Tamil Nadu government, too, has expressed certain reservations. We will definitely make a consensus and that is our resolve,” Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs had said in Jammu.
Pertinently, the state government had made it clear that it would come out with a separate proposal on how to participate in the GST framework “without compromising its constitutional position” on taxing services.
It had argued that the GST Council would become more powerful than state legislatures once the new tax takes off. The state had made a case before the Empowered Committee of state finance ministers that “J&K’s special taxation powers have to be protected while rolling out GST”.