Jammu and Kashmir Co-ordination Committee (JKCC) has made it clear to the Indian authorities that the Committee rejects the Goods and Services Tax law outright in its present form and that it will continue with its struggle against its negative fallout.
According to media sources, calling the GST law a fraud, the JKCC in a statement in Srinagar asserted that their opposition was not an issue between traders and the authorities but was a matter of the dignity of the common citizens of Kashmir.
“Please be it known to all that at the end of the day, a trader is also a common citizen like any other. No trader is against tax reforms, but no citizen would allow the remains of the territory’s fiscal autonomy to be consigned to flames,” it said. “A broad programme will be charted out with the advice of experts to launch an aggressive programme/campaign to educate the people as to how this fraudulent law will further erode the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.” Meanwhile, the joint resistance leadership in a statement had already termed as a welcome step the formation of Jammu and Kashmir Coordination Committee comprising trade and business bodies and civil society experts to look into the issue of GST implementation and safeguard any further dilution of the special status. On the other hand, the Kashmir Bar Association has expressed concern over the manner in which the so-called Kashmir Assembly passed a resolution of the GST regime in Kashmir. It said Article 370 had been reduced to an empty shell by 47 Indian presidential orders passed in the past. “The Article 370 has been reduced to an empty shell by the 47 orders, unconstitutionally made by the President, whereby 260 out of 395 Articles of Constitution, 94 out of 97 entries in the Union List and 26 of the 47 entries in the Concurrent List, have been extended to J&K in a brazen manner, during the last 50 years, by successive governments, least bothering for the rights of the people and the consequences of such extension,” the Bar said.