Accusing the Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu of trying to create wedge in the business community to meet his sinister motives in implementation of GST in the state, the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation President Muhammad Yasin Khan on Saturday clarified that he has not applied for the GST number.
“The number which is being circulated in the media has been generated by the state government itself, as has been done in case of thousands of other traders of Kashmir who have a commercial tax number, but never applied for GST,” Khan told reporters while leading protests here at Lal Chowk against the government plans to implement GST in the state.
Khan said the taxation authorities have themselves generated temporary GST numbers for the traders registered with the central taxation department. “This is a sinister move of the government to discredit us for the sake of it. I have not applied for GST anywhere and if it’s proved that I applied for any such number, I will quit business and the business fraternity forever,” Khan said.
Asking the business community to be united at this critical juncture, he said the GST was not only sinister for the interests of the trades but even for lakhs of artisans and horticulturists of Kashmir who will have to pay tax if the GST is implemented.
“This law aims at crushing the economic activities of Kashmir. We will not allow implementation of GST and there can be no compromise on the larger interests of Jammu and Kashmir, which enjoys special status by article 370. Otherwise also Kashmir is a declared disturbed area so legally and logically there cannot be any implementation of GST.”
“Let the Finance minister come forward for an open debate. We will prove that GST is detrimental for interests of 90% population of Kashmir. We cannot sacrifice our interests for some party to be in power.”
Khan appealed the civil society to come forward for a joint strategy to counter the sinister moves.