Kashmir handicrafts to incur 12% GST

Despite the Finance Minister’s promise of keeping Kashmir handicrafts tax free, the government has brought it under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. In GST list of goods and services, handicrafts have been taxed at 12 percent and come under Integrated State Goods and Service Tax (IGST) category. According to the Handicraft department, Jammu Kashmir has 20 lakh artisans, who would be impacted with this decision. Noted Kashmiri economist, Nisar Ali said, “Bringing the handicrafts under taxation will be a big jolt to the already declining industry.” He…

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Haseeb Drabu sets operational target for businesses to migrate to GST

Setting immediate operational target to achieve cent percent registration of businesses under GST, Minister for Finance, Haseeb Drabu, today directed the district administrations to work towards successful implementation of the new tax regime in J&K which will be beneficial for the consumers. “The biggest deterrent in the implementation of GST was the apprehension within the business community about erosion of state’s fiscal autonomy which has been taken care of. Now, the Government functionaries at District Level must take traders, businessmen, small scale industries and consumers on board for smooth transition…

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‘Culture on Cruise’ an initiative by Tourism Deptt, JKAACL launch at Dal Lake

J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages in association with Tourism Department Kashmir launched a weekly cultural programme series titled “Culture on Cruise” here on Saturday at Dal Lake. Conceived by JKAACL, the innovative programme series brings writers, performance artists, musicians, poets and academics together and offers a program of performances, workshops, talks, forums and debates. Talking about the programme series – the first of its kind in the State – Secretary JKAACL, Dr Aziz Hajini says he’s looking forward to hosting such events on regular basis through summer and…

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Clamour grows louder for abolition of toll tax in state: GST Effect

Even as the ruling dispensation has given the excuse of Rs 900-crore revenue loss to the state exchequer on account of abolition of the toll tax at Lakhanpur, clamour has gone louder against the charging of the toll tax after the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Jammu and Kashmir. The state government, however, has maintained a silence on “net profit” to Jammu and Kashmir in terms of “divisible pool of taxes” from the Centre under the GST. The state government has also remained non-committal over doing away…

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Kashmir Unrest may drive luxury glass-roof trains down South

Given the unrest in Kashmir, the government is thinking of moving the train to Andhra Pradesh’s Araku Valley, or even routes in Goa and Kerala. Will Kashmir’s loss become Kerala’s gain? With the Indian Railways engaged in a serious re-think over deploying the super-luxury glass roof top coaches on the Banihal-Baramulla stretch of the Kashmir rail line on account of the worsening law and order situation in the state, the question has started coming up. Two of these four high-end coaches – with opalescent roof glass windows which can be…

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Internet banned 10 times in 3 months across Kashmir

At a time when frequent internet bans have become a regular trend here, Kashmir has witnessed suspension of both mobile and broadband internet services 10 times between April, 2017 and July 13. This year interestingly from January to April, there were no Internet suspensions. Internet was also suspended once in Jammu recently as a precautionary measure following the killing of Amarnath pilgrims in an attack. The first internet ban in Kashmir this year was imposed on April 8 when mobile and Broadband services were shut down from midnight in Srinagar,…

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Civil Society Group, Kashmir Traders demands GST rollback, threatens state-wide agitation

Jammu and Kashmir Coordination Committee – an umbrella or trade bodies and civil society groups – on Wednesday warned of intensifying agitation across the state if the government didn’t roll back the GST law within a week’s time. Besides GST rollout, the JKCC has demanded the withdrawal of presidential order on the tax law and declaring the Jammu and Kashmir as a “free economic zone (FEZ). “In the event of Government not acceding to our demands, within a week’s time, the JKCC will be forced to continue its agitation and…

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Kashmir Civil Society, PHD Chamber Kashmir, Traders come out to protest killing of Amarnath yatris

Amid widespread anger over killing of Amarnath yatris, civil society Tuesday came out to protest against these killings and demanded an impartial probe. Large numbers of representatives from various civil society groups including businessmen, tourism players, academicians and journalists held silent protest demonstration at Pratap Park here and expressed solidarity with victim families. They demanded that all the massacres carried out by forces and other agencies should be probed by independent human rights organisations. “We are here to send a message that this is not our culture or tradition but…

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Unregistered Hajj-Umrah illegal travel agency bust, 2 Arrested

J&K Police (Tourism Enforcement Wing) on Sunday claimed to have busted an unregistered Hajj-Umrah Tour and Travel agency operating here with the arrest of two persons. Senior superintendent of police (Tourism Enforcement), Amarjit Singh said “Tourist police station Srinagar received information that one un-approved travel agency namely Indo Sahab located at New Delhi is allegedly operating in Kashmir illegally and giving frequent advertisements in local newspapers in order to cheat gullible people”. The SSP said a special team was set up led by SHO Tourist police station Srinagar. “During investigation…

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Restrictions aimed at economically crushing Downtown: Traders

Government’s practice to frequently impose restrictions in Downtown is taking a distressing toll on businesses there, with traders accusing authorities of imposing curbs under “a conspiracy to economically crush people of Old City”. As per officials, out of five days in this week, there were restrictions on two days, Wednesday and Friday. While there were no restrictions on other parts of Srinagar, the areas falling under the jurisdiction of five police stations – Khanyar, Nowhatta, Rainawari, MR Gunj and Safakadal, were under siege even on Friday with police and paramilitary…

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