Accusing People’s Democratic Party of robbing the contents of Section 5 of Jammu Kashmir Constitution and eroding Article 370, National Conference Saturday said that proprietary rights of a ‘fruit garden’ owned by Jammu Kashmir was handed over to India.“Imposition of taxes was our jurisdiction and sole domain. It was like a fruit garden owned by us but PDP added India as a partner to it and we have lost exclusive proprietorship of this garden,” former Finance Minister and National Conference leader Abdul Rahim Rather told reporters here during a press conference. Rather was flanked by party patron Dr Farooq Abdullah, general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar and party spokesperson Junaid Azam Matoo.He said India eagerly wanted J&K’s economic integration and PDP helped her in doing so. “The remarks made by BJP state president Satpaul Sharman and India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley vindicate our statement. Both these leaders termed the implementation of GST in Jammu and Kashmir as a step towards integration and dedicated their ‘success’ to Shayama Prasad Mukerji,” he said and added that Jammu and Kashmir has lost the right to impose tax on goods and services.
The job of our Assembly is now to fix the rate on taxes and not to impose the tax. The GST Bill had come from New Delhi while PDP only passed it. Some legislators compelled to concede to party decision and their role was only to raise their hands in favour of the GST Bill,” he said.Abdul Rahim Rather said that Jammu Kashmir State Legislature had the power to decide and impose taxes while now under GST those powers are gone. “Now Government of India will directly deal with the one lakh twenty-five thousand dealers of Jammu and Kashmir. To claim that Jammu and Kashmir will have a say in the GST Council is a big lie. In GST Council, the State representatives will have to act as mute puppets,” Rather said.Indian politicians had agreed to me when I addressed a conference on GST at Shilong in which I said that Jammu and Kashmir is a sensitive state that needs to have its distinct taxation system. Even the participants agreed and said that interference in J&K affairs will have serious ramifications. Today, this PDP helped BJP to erode our fiscal autonomy. The irony is that on the floor of the House, incumbent Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu claimed that Article 370 is an obstruction in the development of the state,” he said. Rather claimed that PDP has completely surrendered before BJP and after economic integration, it will help India in political integration. (CNS)