Industrialists seek abrogation of Lakhanpur toll plaza after GST implementation in J&K

Recently, Goods and Services tax has been a trending topic in India. The GST rollout affected a major chunk of the society like industrialists and associated staff and the general public as well. But unlike the rest of the country, Jammu And Kashmir State took a while to pass the GST as before that special laws need to be passed owing to Article 370. The PDP-BJP government finally gave a green signal to one tax regime a week later than the rest of the country. The lapse of one-week time had industrialists from Jammu region really miffed over the delay in GST implementation. The delay was due to the divergent views of Jammu and Kashmir traders on passing GST resolution in the state.

Slash in number of goods laden truck

On June 30th midnight, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was launched nationwide except Jammu and Kashmir hence the Lakhanpur toll plaza was deserted because the trucks laden with goods dropped drastically. The state industries came to complete halt during that one-week period. Almost all the fresh orders were cancelled thus the number of goods laden truck which crossed the state slashed to 900 from 2000 trucks.

Criticism

As per the GST, the whole country has been brought under one tax regime which means all toll plazas in the country have been closed but unfortunately Lakhanpur Toll Plaza is still working which means there will be increase in the prices of multiple essential commodities in the state. Panther Party's State President and former MLA Balwant Singh Mankotia said that Lakhanpur toll tax is a betrayal on the name of GST and the government is befooling people of Jammu and Kashmir. He further added that the presence of Lakhanpur toll plaza will strengthen Article 370 in the State while the BJP government used to make promises about scrapping the same before coming to power.

Besides, Senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla also reacted over the threat of Jammu traders protest over the issue due to the retention of Toll Tax at Lakhanpur which has automatically increased the prices of commodities owing to double taxation on goods which is hampering the business community.

Industrialists demand abolition of Lakhanpur Toll Tax

Even the Chamber of Commerce and Industry was disappointed as the government did not abolish the toll at Lakhanpur and Lower Munda. The GST was implemented with the aim to bring a number of taxes like Value Added Tax, Central Sales Tax, Entry Tax etc. under one tax due to which the number of necessary checks, halts and permissions was believed to be reduced drastically, making for a quicker, smoother transition of vehicles. The significant change can be noticed but Toll Tax as the tax which was charged in two components- Basic Toll, based on type of vehicle and Toll on Goods, based on goods' value- ranging from 80 rupees per quintal to 3500 rupees per quintal for different types of goods. The Toll tax has remained a major source of revenue generation for state government during the last financial year garnering more than 568 Crore rupees.

Keeping in view such significant addition to revenues, the government has retained the Lakhanpur toll tax hence its abrogation will be decided in due course of time as per the reports.

All the industrialists seek abolishment of toll tax from Lakhanpur for the smooth functioning of their businesses for which they have been protesting from quite some time.

 

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Author

Hardeep Bali