NC says Kashmir fiscal autonomy compromised

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Srinagar

Insisting that no safeguards were in the Presidential constitution amendment order 2017, former finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather told a news conference that J&K has surrendered much.

Rather has said that J&K state was exclusively levying taxes and now it has a shareholder. In the earlier system, Rather said J&K was appropriating the central taxes, especially the central sales tax and transferring it to the central government which will not happen now.

There were only 1000 dealers in the state who had to interact with the Central Excise officials or the systems, Rather said. In the new regime, J&K will have all the 72,000 dealers registered in the state to be tackled by the central government. The state finance minister expects that number going as up as 1,20,000 dealers. “All these registered dealers were being managed locally,” he said.

Rather told media that the state government passed the bill with great hurry – almost 30 seconds without debating it much. “This might have been the script from Delhi,” he said, adding they managed the passage of the bill with brute majority.

The former finance minister said that the government claim that they have retained the powers of Section 5 of the constitution of Jammu & Kashmir is incorrect. “The fact is that nobody can amend Section 5,” he said. “What is the new thing in it?”

Rather said that the BJP has clearly summed up the GST extension. He mentioned ArunJaitey, the central finance minister, who said the financial integration of J&K has completed the dream of Syama Prasad Mookerji, the BJP ideologue.

Former finance minister said that the political autonomy of the state is in unsafe hands. He referred to the speech of Dr HaseebDrabu in which he said the Article 370 is an obstruction. “This is the language that RSS and BJP is speaking,” he said.

Rather said it was untrue that there were not alternative around. “We had suggested them to come to us and we will show you the alternative,” Rather said while referring to the Cubec model of GST.

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