Srinagar: Predicting that Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime would come in 6-8 months, Jammu and Kashmir government today expressed its willingness to join it but said the state would have to protect its constitutional position which allows it to tax services in the state.
Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, who was speaking in the Legislative Council in the context of new Industrial Policy, said, "..after 6-8 months, GST is coming" and the state will benefit greatly from it.
"We must participate, but we shall do so protecting our constitutional position especially the State Assets Act 1962 which gives us the power to tax services," Drabu said.
"I do not believe in the fact that we should trade our power to tax with the share in taxes," he said. "So we are trying to find the modalities on how do we participate in the GST because as an importing state, the state that consumes more and produces less, we will benefit from GST greatly," the minister added.
The long-pending GST bill, which is aimed at overhauling the taxation system in the country, is expected to be taken up in the Rajya Sabha during the upcoming Monsoon session due next month.
Talking about the industrial policy, the Finance Minister said, "There was an internal discussion within our government to keep this policy (on hold) for a year or so as a major change would come due to the GST regime."
However, he added, "First we have to decide whether J&K participates (in GST) or not." He said as of now there was no clarity as to whether GST would be applied in J&K and how it would be applied....