National Conference (NC) President and Member Parliament Dr Farooq Abdullah Saturday expressed shock and displeasure over CM Mehbooba Muftis pitch for GST exemption to states handicraft, dry fruits, tourism industry and called her meeting with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley an attempt to hoodwink Kashmiris.
He made these remarks in a workers’ meeting at Ganderbal.
Addressing the gathering Dr Farooq said, “either Mehbooba Mufti had not even bothered to look at GST Bill before giving it a go ahead in the state cabinet or she is clearly trying to befool Kashmiris. Asking for GST exemptions now after passing the bill is mere drama.”
He added that it is beyond comprehension that a bill just passed by her government needs her to engage in parleys now. “When the whole state particularly the trading fraternity was up with apprehensions that GST will not augur well with the small and medium scale industries in the state, she held her stance as the biggest proponent of the law,” Dr Farooq said.
He expressed dismay over what he called a deaf and blind government ignorant to the needs and aspirations of trader community in particular and people in general. “Which CM will bat for GST one day and the next day comes out and say ‘we are at loss because of GST’?”
He said that the conduct of the PDP-BJP regime has always been incoherent and confusing. “They run around like headless chicken and the state is suffering because of Mehbooba Muft’s inept handling of the CM office and her cabinet,” he said.
Reiterating his stance on resumption of dialogue process between India and Pakistan, Dr Farooq said, “until and unless Kashmir issue is resolved, there will be no peace in the state. I appeal both the countries to understand the gravity of the situation and initiate dialogue process immediately. And in that process all the stakeholders in the state must be taken on board,” adding, “the present regime at the centre must follow the policies of Vajpayee who was a strong votary of dialogue process. It was he who said that friends can be changed but not your neighbors in direct reference to Pakistan.”
Earlier Dr Abdullah laid foundation stone for a road widening project under PMGSY between Darhama Rabitar to Narain Bagh, Ganderbal. The project estimated to cost Rs 11.49 Cr is expected to benefit over 1.5 lakh people. He also interacted with people and took stock of the civil amenities there. He was accompanied by MLA and District President Ganderbal Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar. Among other dignitaries’ Director PMGSY, district officers also attended the ceremony.
Dr Abdullah also presided over an award distribution function at Shireen Bagh Srinagar. The awards given in memory of Madar e Meharbaan Begum Akbar Jahan was organized by Rural Development Society. Its Chairman and MLA Eidgah Mubarak Gul, Additional General Secretary Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal were also present in the function.