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Businesses shut in parts of Jammu and Kashmir to protest GST

Traders protest against GST in Srinagar. Photograph: (ANI)

Agencies New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 01, 2017, 09.04 AM (IST)

 

All shops and business establishments were shut and transport was off the roads in parts of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday after traders and transporters called for a strike against the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout.

The shutdown was called by Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers (KTMF).

Under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, the state of Jammu and Kashmir enjoys a “special status’. Traders, transporters and opposition parties believe that the new tax regime would lead to the "erosion" of this special status.

However, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has said that the "special status won't be diluted in any case".

Those opposed to the GST demanded some amendments to enjoy some benefits.

There were restrictions on the assembly of people in parts of Srinagar as a precautionary measure.

"We will not allow the erosion of our special status," KTMF president Muhammad Yasin Khan said, PTI reported.

Jammu and Kashmir is the only state that did not meet the June 30 deadline for GST rollout. However, the state’s finance minister Haseeb Drabu said today that the state is likely to clear legislation on the tax regime by July 6, PTI reported.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had written a letter to chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, saying that failure of the state to implement the GST would lead to "adverse impact" of price rise and put the local industry at a disadvantage.

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