GST: One Country, One Tax

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the implementation of Goods and Services Tax in Jammu and Kashmir marks the economic integration of the country.
“The dream of economic integration of the country has been fulfilled,” he told the Lok Sabha, which passed two bills extending Central GST and Integrated GST to J-K.

The Central Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Bill and the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Bill are aimed at giving effect to the formal amendments required in Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) Acts by removing the exemption that was given to J&K.

Jaitley said the argument against GST in J&K was given by separatists. While CGST provides for levy of GST on goods sold and services rendered in J-K, IGST seeks to levy the tax on inter-state movement of goods. The two bills replace an order promulgated by the President.

Jaitley said the GST was in the larger interest of traders and consumers of J&K for which the state government, its assembly and people should be complimented. “If they (J-K) didn’t integrate, then traders would not have got input credit and the tax on final products would have been higher... That would have made products costlier and consumers would have to pay more,” he said. Jaitley said J-K was a consumer state and GST being a destination-based tax will help in increasing the revenues of the state.

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