Resolution introduced by Finance Minister is ambiguous, lacks clarity: Tarigami

Resolution introduced by Finance Minister is ambiguous, lacks clarity: Tarigami

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SRINAGAR : The CPI (M), Y. Tarigami raises some points by M. Y. Tarigami on GST during his intervention in J&K Legislative Assembly today.

According to a statement issued, he said that the resolution introduced by Finance Minister yesterday is ambiguous and lacks clarity. “Government should have come out with a concrete proposal suggesting way forward on the basis of Section 5 of the Constitution of J&K, which provides residuary powers to our State Legislature”, the statement reads.

The Goods and Services Tax regime strikes at the basic structure of the Constitution which is federalism and the powers of the States have been taken away by the Centre in the name of ‘One Nation One Tax’ slogan. The states, by this constitutional amendment have been reduced to the status of mendicants, virtually a subversion of the federal polity. Its very mode of enactment is unconstitutional. Article 17 of the Act makes amendment with regard to sales tax which belongs to the state list of the Seventh Schedule. It is not within the jurisdiction of the parliament to make enactments relating to items included in the state list of the Seventh Schedule. In its absence the parliament enacting on a matter belonging to the jurisdiction exclusively of the states, is itself unconstitutional.

In Goods and Service Tax Council, for taking any decision including fixing of slabs of tax rates, 1/3rd vote is of Union of India and 2/3rd vote is of State Governments.  Any Government in the Union having majority in some of the States can take a decision with respect to imposition of Goods and Service Tax for whole of the country and will clearly disturb the financial distribution of powers between the Union and the States as originally enshrined in the Constitution of India.

The State of Jammu and Kashmir enjoys a unique special constitutional relationship with the Union and the legislative powers of the State are different from other States.  So far as State of Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, it has got residuary powers to legislate by virtue of Section 5 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.  The Section provides that the legislative power of the State extends to the matters except where Union Parliament has got powers to legislate.  This will clearly indicate that except for those matters where Union List and Concurrent List of the Constitution of India is applicable to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the other matters fall within the legislative competence of the State.  By application of Constitutional Amendment, State has to surrender its powers to legislate on the ‘services’, which at present are being taxed through State’s own legislations.

The best course available to the State Government is to enact its own legislation as per its requirements by exercising powers conferred upon it under section 5 of the State Constitution.

During his intervention, the CPI (M) leader said that alienation is massive among our people and stressed that it is foremost duty for all of us to seek solutions which can help in reducing this alienation. No attempt “overt or covert” should be made to add to this deep alienation.