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GST resolution moved in J&K’s bicameral legislature

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) resolution was moved on Tuesday in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and the Legislative Council by the ruling PDP-BJP government.

State Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu moved the resolution in the state assembly while Public Works Minister Naeem Akhtar moved the resolution in the legislative council, the upper house of J&K’s bicameral legislature.

Moving the resolution for adoption in the Assembly, Finance Minister, Drabu said, “This House resolves that the government of Jammu and Kashmir may give consent to the adoption of the GST regime by application of relevant amendments made to the Constitution of India in a modified manner to safeguard the existing special constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir in the Union of India and the legislative powers under the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) and information Minister, seconded the resolution.

Speaking on the importance of the resolution, Finance Minister said the new tax regime has been rolled out in the entire country except Jammu and Kashmir which has a special status in view of its own Constitution.

He said it is in the interest of J&K to shift to the new tax regime to protect the interests of the state.

Seeking support of the House, Drabu said: “The issues of constitutionalism should be debated by lawmakers and settled in this House.

“This should form the basis of our democracy,” he said.

Drabu said GST was being debated in India since 2002 and the present government was only becoming a part of a process in which the National Conference had participated when the party was in power.

“We are sincere and we do not have any devious plans. But not all wisdom rests with the government and there are other eminent lawmakers in this house who can contribute tremendously on this important law.

“We want to listen to all viewpoints and take a sense of this House,” Drabu said.

He added that J&K because of its special status has the most empowered legislature in the country.

Naeem Akhtar moved the resolution in the legislative council and it was seconded by Vikramaditya Singh, ruling party legislator.

Earlier, there was pandemonium in the state assembly created by opposition MLAs belonging to the National Conference, Congress and independent MLAs and the speaker, Kavinder Gupta had to adjourn the House twice which met again in the afternoon.