J&K Economic Survey 2017: Implementation of GST

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J&K Government tabled the J&K Economic Survey 2017 in the state legislature. It carries a number of chapters listing and details the various initiatives that were introduced last fiscal. One of them is about the introduction of the GST. Here we reproduce the entire chapter in larger public interest

Traders on sit in protest in Srinagar against the implementation of GST in J&K (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

The Central GST Act 2016 was passed by the Parliament in the present form and was notified by Government of India on 12th April 2017 which was applicable to whole of India except state of Jammu and Kashmir. The GST regime was implemented in the whole of India w.e.f 1-07-2017 except Jammu And Kashmir State. The Central GST Act 2016 was not applicable to Jammu & Kashmir as the powers to tax in J&K State are enshrined under Section 5 of J&K state constitution.

After thorough analysis of the issue and taking into account all safeguards, the Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir tabled a resolution in State Assembly on 06-07-2017 whereunder it was unanimously resolved that  only those Articles/Clauses of 101st  Constitution Amendment will be assented to be extended by GoI to J&K state which were extremely necessary to implement Central GST/IGST/ITC in the state of J&K under Article 370 of Constitution of India while keeping intact the powers of J&K state to Tax in the state under section 5 of J&K State constitution. The powers to tax are enshrined in section 5 of constitution of J&K State.

Dr Haseeb Drabu, J&K finance Minister responding to the issues raised by Elders in the State Legislative Council on GST on July 5, 2017. Photo: Government

The draft presidential order that could be passed by GoI was also analyzed critically and discussed in the State Assembly in its special session on 06.07.2017. Accordingly, with the assent of J&K State by way of passing of resolution in the State Assembly on 06-07-2017, the presidential order under Article 370(1) of the Constitution was issued by President of India on 6th July 2017 with the concurrence of Government of Jammu and Kashmir. The Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Amendment Order 2017 was published on 6/07/2017. The powers of J&K State of Jammu & Kashmir to impose tax under section 5 of the constitution of J&K State shall remain intact.

Another two Presidential order were passed on 08-07-2017 whereunder CGST and IGST were made applicable to J&K State w.e.f 8-07-2017. The State of J&K also passed SGST Act 2017 in Jammu & Kashmir State Assembly which has been notified on 06-07-2017. The State GST Council of J&K State stands also constituted in terms of SGST Act 2017.

Thus came GST regime into force in J&K State w.e.f 08-07-2017 after fully safeguarding section 5 of J&K state constitution

In J&K state, GST was implemented w.e.f. 8th of July, 2017 and the existing dealers• of VAT are being migrated to GST system. Till date, a total of 45,000 VAT dealers stand migrated to GST Portal. New registration process is also in full swing and till date, a. total of 26,400 dealers stand registered on GST Portal. Out of this count of 26,400, while 13, 700 dealers pertain to Central jurisdiction and 12, 700 dealers pertain to J&K State jurisdiction. As of now, 71,400 dealers (migrated+ new registration) stand registered on the GST Portal taking the tax base count of dealers also to 71,400. Further, in order to make smooth functioning of GST application and hassle free connectivity with tax payers, the Commercial Taxes Department has switched over to MPLS mode of connectivity.

Commercial Taxes Department J&K is proactively assisting taxpayers in the process of transition to new tax regime. The department has taken following initiatives wherein ICT platform is being harnessed in line with our vision:

  1. Establishment of facilitation centers in Jammu and Kashmir divisions

Commercial Taxes Department J&K has set up facilitation centers in both divisions of Jammu and Kashmir that act as the first line of contact for taxpayers in raising their issues. Commercial Taxes Department J&K has deployed its own resources in these facilitation centers. It is pertinent to mention that taxpayers are given hand on support for registration and filling of returns in these facilitation centers.

  1. Assisting dealers through social media accounts

Commercial Taxes Department J&K has launched official social media accounts like Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jkgst and Twitter handle https://www.twittr.com/jkgst. These social media account are being used to share the relevant information of GST from time to time and the same social media accounts are being used by taxpayers as first level of contact for raising their queries. CTD J&K through its designated officials try to reply with authentic information.

III.           SMS alerts to Taxpayers

Commercial Taxes Department J&K has utilized the media of communication to reach out to the taxpayers of GST by sending them SMS for sharing the schedules of various programs that are being live webcasted through social media accounts. These SMS alerts are being sent to all the registered taxpayers of GST in the state.

  1. Conducting live interactive webcasts

Commercial Taxes Department J&K has launched a massive drive of interactive live workshops cum demonstration sessions on GST in the state of Jammu & Kashmir on social media accounts. We have already held live interactive sessions for Drawing & Disbursing Officers of the State wherein they were made aware about the registration, returns and GST guidelines. CTD J&K also held live interactive session at IMPA for various government officials of State. Social Media account (Facebook) is being used to make the stakeholders of GST aware about filling of returns like GSTR 3B and GSTR 1. Hands on live demonstrations on GSTR 3B and GSTRl were shown in these live webcasts for the references of tax payers.

  1. Establishment of Helpdesk

Commercial Taxes Department J&K has established a state of the art GST helpdesk with web based ticketing solution which envisions the capability to raise tickets for various issues faced by taxpayers related to GST, using a centralized solution. The system is being hosted on a robust server which is capable of dealing on real time basis. The system is able to generate tickets and once the ticket is resolved the system reverts back with resolution to the user.

Revenue Collections on account of SGST /IGST

The State of Jammu and Kashmir together with other States has joined the Goods and Services Tax Regime with effect from July, 2017. The returns for the first quarter in case of VAT and other subsumed taxes are filed together with payment of taxes in the month of July, 2017. So revenue collected during the month of July, 2017 is revenue pertaining to the first quarter of the year 2017-18. Since the revenues for the last quarter of the proceedings year are collected in the month of April, the collections up till July, 2017 are virtually collection for two quarters. From August, 2017 onwards apart from the residual amounts out of the subsumed taxes, the tax collections would be accounted for by the Accounting Authorities. As per the information extracted from the GSTN server and the information received from the GSTN through e-mail, following amounts have been received in the State for the months of August, September and October, 2017:

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