‘Committees to resolve the financial problems of traders yet to be constituted’

Srinagar: Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Inc) on Monday stated that the business community of Kashmir was undergoing a period of unprecedented stress and turbulence and heading towards financial instability.

The Financial Package announced by Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor, Jammu and Kashmir under no: FD-VII-Gen(120) R&R Dated: 25-09-2020 was a ray of hope for the Business Community, KCC&I spokesperson said.

While appreciating the efforts put in by Lt Governor for the said package, KCCI said at the same time most of the announcements in the package are still awaited.

The spokesperson stated that the Committee has recommended an interest subvention of 5% for six months amounting to Rs 1089.24 Crore, partial waiver of fixed electricity charges for one year amounting to Rs 80 crore, waiver of water charges for six months costing Rs 25 crore, time-bound One Time Settlement (OTS), capital infusion in accordance with the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, replacement of old vehicles and insurances support costing Rs 50 Crore to the transporters support to artist and others costing Rs 108.75 crore which are partially implemented and needs immediate attention from the JK administration.

Various committees were supposed to be constituted like Committee for settlement of Bank, Finances and industry issues with association representatives as members to be chaired by Finance Department, Committee in each province/district involving members of the business association to address their issues which shall meet every month at District level and every two months at the provincial level to settle issues of the business community. The Committee shall have a representative from I&C/ Finance/Bank as its members but the committees were not constituted yet which results in huge problems faced by the industrial sector.

The removal of Lakhanpur Toll post has hit the business very badly and a committee was formed to ascertain its effects on the industries but the report has not still come out.

It is a well-known fact that our Export performance over 05 years has deteriorated to the worst level. To encourage exports from JK we need to support at all levels in manufacturing, artisans and weavers. In our recent meeting held with Lt Governor was kind enough to ensure KCCI delegation that administration constitutes an Export Promotion Board for all Export level issues but till date, no Board was constituted.

The tourism sector in general and Tour Operators, in particular, are running into the most difficult time due to business losses since August 2019. In the above said Financial Package subsidy for installation of the bio-digesters in the Houseboat, pending payments to the hotels utilized for quarantine facility, issues related to permission for the renovation of Hotels / Houseboats with the Committee of experts on LAWDA, simplification of the process for renewal of licenses of the Houseboats, an extension of Tourism incentives scheme for next 15 years for Travel Agents and Tour Operators, Power Tariff at par with Industries are still pending with the concerned authorities.

In the meantime, we appreciate the extension order for renewal of fitness and registration papers for Transports till 31st March 2021. But they have to submit the documents online and as you are well aware that 4G internet is not working in Kashmir and at 2G internet speed it’s somehow difficult for them to upload the documents online.

The KCCI urged authorities to waiver off all the penalties. The transport sector must be waived off from paying passenger tax, Token tax, Fitness charges and permit fees for the last seventeen months besides complete compensation of insurance for the last one year.

Pertinently, GST Council and many more issues which KCCI submitted to JK administration are referred to by the GoI needs to be followed up by concerned departments which we believe are urgent in nature and require immediate consideration.

Various other issues were raised by the KCCI with the State and GoI being faced by the Industrial and other sectors which needs to be addressed so that the problems faced by the industries and other sectors are taken care off.

The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry urged the Lt. Governor to intervene so that these problems will be redressed as soon as possible.

 

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