SRINAGAR: Weeks after the Jammu and Kashmir government expressed fears about the proposed implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) eroding the state’s taxation autonomy, discussion were held Tuesday between industrialists and senior minister over the New Delhi-backed uniform tax regime.
The Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu, and Minister for Industries and Commerce Chander Parkash Ganga interacted with members of various industrial associations in Jammu to discuss implementation of GST as well as the issues related to formation of the new industrial policy.
“The ministers had detailed deliberation on implementation of GST. Besides, the meeting discussed the need for better infrastructure facilities and road connectivity, uninterrupted power supply, proper implementation of Single Window System, Cross-LoC trade, provision of land bank, power purchase policy, incentives, and skill development programmes,” an official handout issued here said. The GST is being considered as one of the biggest tax reforms in independent India. Even as a select committee, formed by New Delhi, is looking into various dimensions related to implementation of GST, the government of India plans to roll out the proposed indirect tax regime by April 1, 2016.
Once approved for implementation across India, GST will replace all other forms of taxes including central excise, VAT, entertainment tax, entry tax, and luxury tax levied on goods and services in the states. Besides, New Delhi and the states will have concurrent power to levy tax.
Jammu and Kashmir, however, can only be a part of the new uniform tax regime if the state’s Assembly gives it a nod. And the state, given the apprehension that GST could result in an end to the state’s taxation autonomy, has been reluctant to welcome the new tax regime.
The Tuesday’s meeting was, however, the first official occasion at which GST was discuss, among other issues.
The stakeholders participating in the meeting were briefed by the Finance Minister about various aspects of GST.
About the new industrial policy, he told the participating traders and industrialists that the ruling PDP-BJP coalition “is keen to promote industries in the state for tackling unemployment, which hinders the progress and prosperity”.
He assured them of better road connectivity, uninterrupted power supply, and other basic facilities to give “new dimensions” to industrial profile of the state.
“The present dispensation is working under a well-knit strategy to create an atmosphere conducive to attract outside investors, besides encouraging local industry, which has a huge demand world over,” he said.