Srinagar: Against the implementation of Goods and service tax (GST) in the state, the Jammu and Kashmir coordination committee (JKCC) on Tuesday held a ‘one hour silent sit in protest’ here at Ghanta Ghar, Srinagar.
The Jammu and Kashmir Coordination Committee (JKCC), an amalgam of valley traders and the civil society demanded in their silent sit-in protest that there should be immediate withdrawal of the Presidential Order on the GST and roll back of the GST in the state.
Members of the coordination committee were carrying placards in their hands, with a clearly written message of the roll-out of GST in the state.
The roll back of the GST law which was recently passed by the state’s Legislative Assembly.
In this protest, the traders claimed that the state government came up with a ‘futile collaboration’ with the Government of India in order to extend GST in the state.
A local trader while protesting against rolling back of GST said “surrender of fiscal autonomy by the state government is never acceptable to us.”
“Today, we are protesting against the surrender of fiscal autonomy through GST law and whatever is left there in the article 370 is being eroded further,” alleged Zahoor Tramboo, president JKCC.
“If GST is implemented in its present form, neither the state legislature nor the state cabinet will have any say in taxation matters. The central government can shoot down any proposal coming from state on tax rates and procedures or goods to be left out of GST,” said the convenor of JKCC, Siraj Ahmad.
The trio Hurriyat leaders, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer and Yasin Malik also issued a statement expressing concern that the proposed implementation of GST in state was a well thought out plane to cripple our trade and economy.
Chairman Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Geelani, said “Kashmir issue and other interrelated problems are quite different issues with differing background”.
Clarifying his stance about the implementation of GST in the state, Geelani in a statement said, “Besides Kashmir issue, we are facing various other problems. However, the business community and civil societies have their role to find solution regarding implementation of GST and sort out the problems relating to their business they face.”
The Hurriyat (G) chairman said the State of Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed a special status however National Conference and other parties reduced it to “mere zero”.
On June 29, Muzaffar Hussein Beigh, who headed the All Party Consultative Group (APCG) formed to create a wide consensus on GST, told opposition parties in a meeting that any attempt to bring a new law to implement the GST in J&K will become a “huge issue” in India.
While demanding the rollback of GST in the state, Tramboo said, “this is the 47th amendment in the constitution, already 46 amendments has been done so far, we have to stand up now against such regulations which are trying to erode our sovereignty and fiscal autonomy, now we demand the presidential order in implementing of GST In the state should be roll back as soon as possible and declare our state as Free Economic Zone.”
“This (GST) is the 47th deceit inflicted upon the people of J&K and is the threat to the financial autonomy of the state, we totally oppose it, and it has compromised the fiscal autonomy, surrendered the sovereignty of the state and has eroded further the autonomy in the state.”
JKCC, which has been opposing proposed introduction of GST in the state in its current form, is an umbrella body representing trade, commerce and industrial organizations, besides civil society formations, in the Valley.
Among who were present in this protest were Showkat chaudry, A M Zargar, Zahoor Tramboo and others.