Prez nod to Ordinance on GST, PM’s approval taken from abroad

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, July 6: President Pranab Mukherjee late tonight accorded his assent to an Ordinance submitted to him by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) this evening for implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Jammu and Kashmir, clearing the decks for the State Government to introduce State GST (SGST) bill in the Legislature tomorrow.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the MHA and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) remained in hectic consultations during the day for securing approval of Union Cabinet and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was abroad, which were mandatory for the Presidential nod to the Ordinance.
The Ordinance was prepared after State Legislature yesterday gave nod to a resolution for implementation of GST in Jammu and Kashmir.
“After completing all formalities including the Union Cabinet approval and the Prime Minister’s nod, the Home Ministry tonight submitted the proposal to the President, who gave his assent to the Ordinance,” sources said, adding that promulgation of the Ordinance will clear decks for introduction of SGST in the State Assembly tomorrow.
The Government hopes to get the SGST cleared in the Assembly in the first sitting and move it in the Legislative Council in the afternoon sitting. After approval by both the Houses, the SGST would go to Raj Bhawan for the approval of Governor NN Vohra before being implemented in the State, which now only appears to be the matter of time, sources said.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today held high review of security situation in Jammu and Kashmir with top officials of the Home Ministry and heads of para-military forces including arrangements for ongoing annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji, death anniversary of slain militant commander Burhan Wani and situation along the frontiers.
Sources that Rajnath held an hour long security review meeting exclusively on Jammu and Kashmir at his residence in which Minister of State for Home Hans Raj Ahir, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, other top officials of MHA and heads of para-military forces and Intelligence agencies were present.
The successful conduct of Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra, which has been witnessing impressive rush with over one lakh pilgrims paying obeisance to holy Ice Lingam of Lord Shiva in first eight days of the yatra and security arrangements ahead of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8 were discussed in detail.
The Union Home Minister is understood to have called upon the heads of para-military forces to carry forward the hard efforts they have put in this summer to control unrest in the Kashmir valley and ensure adequate security arrangements for annual Amarnath ji pilgrimage in South Kashmir Himalayas, which was one of the most disturbed areas of the Valley, both from militancy as well as unrest points of view.
Sources said Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, who had visited the Kashmir valley the day pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji shrine started and stayed there for two days for review of security situation, briefed the Home Minister about security arrangements made for the pilgrimage as well as the Kashmir Valley for peaceful summer.
“The strategy adopted by the para-military forces to contain unrest has been working well,” sources pointed out.
The Home Secretary is reported to have briefed the meeting that 21,000 additional para-military personnel have been deployed in the Kashmir valley for security of Amarnath yatra and tackling protests along with Jammu and Kashmir Police. The State Government has been assured that more Central forces can also be considered, if required.
Sources said the Union Home Ministry has revised its advisory to the para-military forces for maintaining strict security arrangements all along the yatra routes to provide full protection to the pilgrims.
Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage had started on June 29 and will continue till August 7 coinciding with Shravan Purnima and Raksha Bandhan.
PTI adds from New Delhi:
More than 21,000 additional Central paramilitary forces have been deployed in Jammu and Kashmir for the security of Amarnath yatra and ahead of the first death anniversary of Hizbul militant commander Burhan Wani.
“We are well prepared to handle any situation in Kashmir. We have sent 214 companies of Central forces to control any situation which may arise on July 8 and during Amarnath yatra,” Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi told reporters.
A single company of Central paramilitary force comprises 100 personnel.
These forces are in addition to the State police forces and those deployed for anti-militancy duties.
Four districts of Kashmir– Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Anantnag — have been on the boil since the killing of the Hizbul Mujahideen militant in an encounter with security forces on July 8, 2016.


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