The Jammu and Kashmir assembly may have passed a resolution on implementing GST while safeguarding its special status but it has no validity till it is endorsed through a presidential decree. “After we receive the presidential order, we will take it to the assembly for enacting an SGST (state goods and services tax) bill,” Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said today. The presidential order will be received under Article 370 of the Constitution that grants special status to the state.
The PDP-BJP alliance government had moved a resolution in the assembly yesterday. The move was dubbed a “sham” by the opposition National Conference, which said the state cabinet could have simply moved a resolution seeking a presidential order rather than bringing it to the floor of the assembly. Drabu said in his reply to the discussion on GST in the assembly yesterday that the government was not required to bring the resolution but it did so to “get a sense of the house on the issue”.
According to M I Qadri, former advocate general of the state, the state government could have brought its own GST legislation in the assembly instead of seeking a presidential order.”This is akin to surrendering the powers to impose and collect taxes,” he said. “Jammu and Kashmir has so many parallel laws to national laws like the RTI Act. The state government could have brought a GST law of its own in the assembly which would give powers to the state for imposing and collecting taxes,” he added.
Qadri said the state government was seeking overriding powers on taxation under the new GST regime. This was the first time in the history of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly that a resolution, seeking a presidential order on a constitutional amendment, was discussed and passed in the house.