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Trade leaders detained ahead of sit-in against GST implementation

Srinagar: The Jammu Kashmir government on Sunday detained three trade leaders at their houses to foil the proposed sit-in called by the Jammu and Kashmir Coordination Committee (JKCC) against the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Jammu and Kashmir.

GST is a value-added tax levied on most goods and services sold for domestic consumption. The GST is paid by consumers, but it is remitted to the government by the businesses selling the goods and services. In effect, GST provides revenue for the government. It is proposed to be a comprehensive indirect tax levy on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods as well as services at the national level. It will replace all indirect taxes levied on goods and services by the Indian Central and state governments.

Reports said that three JKCC leaders, Muhammad Yasin Khan, Shakeel Qalandar and Dr Mubeen Shah are under house arrest.

They said that the trio has been detained to foil their proposed sit-in. The JKCC had called for a sit-in in Lalchowk at 11 am on Tuesday.

Traders of the Kashmir valley under the banner of JKCC have been opposing the implementation of GST in Jammu and Kashmir terming it detrimental for Article 370 and surrendering of financial autonomy.

Article 370 of the Indian constitution is an article that grants special autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The article is drafted in Part XXI of the Constitution: Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions.

The Jammu and Kashmir government, last month, during a special assembly session introduced the GST bill in the state. The bill was later passed in the house.

While Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu had said that traders had been taken into confidence for the implementation of the law, however, nearly 100 traders including trade leaders were kept behind bars and under house detention when the bill was passed in the assembly.

Meanwhile, the JKCC Convener called an emergency meeting and said that it was most unfortunate that the business community and civil society, considered responsible and respectable in entire globe, is being subjected to humiliation and vendetta in the “so-called democracy” here.

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