Srinagar, May 18 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday thanked the Jammu and Kashmir government for “the outstanding arrangements” made for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) council meet that began here.
The 14th GST Council meet chaired by Jaitley began here on Thursday morning.
Finance Ministers, Finance Secretaries and taxation officials of various states and union territories participated in the meeting where tax slabs for services and commodities would be determined for the entire country.
The council meeting began with a two-minute silence as a tribute to Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave who passed away in New Delhi.
When the GST council started its deliberations for the day, Jaitley thanked state Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu for making arrangements for the final leg of the GST council meet.
Jaitley assured the state government that the centre will extend all possible help in restructuring the GST implementation for Jammu and Kashmir while respecting the special status of the state.
He said the common people would have many benefits of the GST as it would decrease the cascading effect of taxes.
“Importing states like Jammu and Kashmir will have huge benefit. As per our estimate, we will have Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 2,000 crore profit in tax revenue.
“Prices will go down for the common people in the coming three years,” he said.
The Finance Minister said the GST is perhaps India’s largest and most significant tax reform.
“It is a change in tax regime itself. And today to my mind this is the most important meeting because there is lot of public interest in it, like what taxes you have on salt, on cigarettes, on ships, so it affects the general public. So it is a very important meeting and perhaps it is towards the concluding part of the GST council”, he said.
Drabu said the state government would introduce a bill in the state assembly in its next session to implement the GST.
“We will go into the GST regime but we will try to make some changes because of our special constitutional position”, Drabu said.