'Preserve Special Status of J&K While Implementing GST'

New Delhi
'Preserve Special Status of J&K While Implementing GST'

Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather today said the special status granted to the state under the Constitution needs to be preserved while implementing the Goods and Service Tax (GST).

"We cannot afford to tamper with the autonomous position enjoyed by a politically sensitive state like Jammu and Kashmir," said Rather, who is also the chairman of the Empowered Committee (EC) of State Finance Ministers which is steering implementation of the GST regime.

According to an official release, speaking at the EC meeting here, he said that some tax models are available at the international level which can be conveniently applied to J&K to protect its special constitutional position.

The special status of J&K "guaranteed under the Constitution of India has to be safeguarded at all costs," Rather said.

A committee of experts, he said, is examining the whole issue and the state will soon come out with a well considered formulation in this regard.

The state enjoys a special status and its relationship with the Union of India is governed by Article 370 of the Constitution.

The division of powers between the Union of India and the state of Jammu and Kashmir is not at the same footing as it is in respect of other states of the Union, he added.

Among other things, the Empowered Committee deliberated on the revised draft of the Constitution (One Hundred and Fifteenth Amendment) Bill, 2011 which seeks to provide the legal framework for implementation of the GST, the new indirect taxes regime.

It will subsume levies such as the sales tax/VAT and the central excise duty.

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