Govt heading for GST Showdown with Trade bodies, Opposition

  • KTMF, KTF call for strike on Saturday
  • ‘We don’t believe in ‘One India One Tax’, we have a special status’
  • Kashmir Joint Business Forum warns govt against ‘major confrontation’

Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) and Kashmir Traders Federation (KTF) have called for state-wide strike on Saturday as a mark of protest and resentment against the proposed implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST) in Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a press conference, KTMF President, Muhammad Yasin Khan, who also heads Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), said: “We have given a call for Jammu and Kashmir bandh for Saturday against the proposed implementation of GST as its implementation here will erode our special status and our financial autonomy.”
“KTMF will also hold sit-in protest on Saturday at Lal Chowk. We have received support for the call from the traders of Chenab valley and Pir Panchal and that is why we have given a call for state-wide bandh,” said Khan.
Referring to the controversy surrounding GST implementation in J&K, he said, “Jammu and Kashmir has a special status and we don’t believe in ‘One India One Tax’ as we have a separate constitution and special status and we will not compromise with that by implementation of GST.”
Meanwhile, members of KTF said they are going to hold sit-in outside the Assembly on Saturday against the proposed implementation of GST.
Chief spokesperson of KTF, Ajaz Shahdhar said, “We will not compromise with Article 370 and if the government implements GST here it will be eroded which we will not allow to happen.”
KTF has also urged local transporters to support the call.
Meanwhile, a joint meeting of trade and tourism bodies was held under the banner of Kashmir Joint Business Forum wherein the participants decided to oppose the proposed implementation of GST in letter and spirit.
The meeting was attended by representatives of KCCI, CCIK, KHARA, KHAROF, JKHC, KEF, ATOK, TAAK, JKTA, HBOA, PILTOF and other bodies.
They appealed the lawmakers of Jammu and Kashmir, cutting across party lines, to ensure that the fiscal autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir is preserved.
“The fiscal autonomy of the state should not be bartered for petty financial gains or for some political mileage which belongs to elsewhere,” the participants said.
The traders associations warned the government that the issue can snowballs into a major confrontation.
“We have pinned all our hopes on the lawmakers of the state for safeguarding the fiscal autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir,” they said.

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