Won’t allow dilution of special status: Kashmir Inc

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Srinagar, Fearing that implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime would “dilute” J&K’s special status, Kashmir’s business community on Friday cautioned that any attempt to harm Article 370 will have “serious repercussions for both New Delhi and the state government.”

Addressing a presser here, Muhammad Yaseen Khan, president, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), said: “We are not against taxes but warn both the state and central governments that if they try to dilute state’s special status under the garb of implementing the GST regime, we will launch a massive agitation.”

J&K is in the process of implementing its GST law after a debate in the State Assembly, finance minister Dr Haseeb Drabu has said.

“Kashmir is a disputed territory and the central government, under the garb of implementing these central laws, must not try to implement its slogan of ‘Ek Pradaan, Ek Vidaan’. That will be completely unacceptable to us,” Khan said.

He said the state government had earlier promised that it won’t implement the GST regime keeping in view the state’s constitutional position, “but we have to come know that it is going to implement this one-tax regime without consulting the business community. This has raised apprehensions.”

Khan said the government should come clean on the issue “because Kashmir is not like any other place and expansion of revenue base by Rs 1,500 crore at the cost of state’s special status won’t be tolerated.”

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