Kashmir business leaders on Tuesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, where they submitted a memorandum of demands seeking measures for the revival of the economy. As per the business leaders, the meeting started at 12 noon and lasted for over half an hour.

The business delegation which met PM consisted of Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya, Chairman, Hoteliers Club, Baldev Singh Raina, Chairman, PHD, Kashmir Chapter, Sheikh Ashiq Ahmed, President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chowdhary Muhammad Showkat, President, J&K Hotel and Restaurant Association, and a few business people who highlighted the urgent issues of the business community of Jammu & Kashmir. The meeting was coordinated by Dr Darakshan Andrabi, Chairperson, WAKF Board, J&K.

Talking to Greater Kashmir over the phone, Chairman Hoteliers Club, Mushtaq Chaya said ” it is good to be heard by the Prime Minister of the country as he gave us a patient hearing. We raised issues confronting the tourism sector, the land lease issue of Gulmarg, Roshni land issue at Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Srinagar. We also highlighted the losses incurred by the business community due to the political situation and COVID.”

“PM assured us all possible help required for the development of Jammu and Kashmir,” Chaya said.

PHDCCI, Kashmir Chair, Baldev Singh Raina submitted a detailed representation regarding the much-awaited infrastructural project that needs to be completed in Jammu as well as in Kashmir on priority with specified deadlines that Includes AIIMS in Jammu and Kashmir, Central University at Kashmir, four laning of Srinagar Jammu Highway, Rail Connectivity of Srinagar-Jammu, Metro Network of Srinagar and Jammu City, Construction of new domestic Airport at Srinagar.

President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), Sheikh Ashiq said ” PM keenly listened to our demands and assured us to fulfill them. Our meeting was about trade and commerce, we apprised the PM about the ground situation of the business community and he assured us to resolve all the issues.”

Ashiq said that they raised issues concerning trade and commerce. We sought international flights from Srinagar, carpet village, issues concerning the business community regarding banks etc.”

The business leaders submitted a memorandum of demands before the Prime Minister. As per the memorandum, the business delegation has sought direct flights from Srinagar International Airport to Jeddah for Umrah and Hajj Pilgrims of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

he business delegation sought a revival package stating that accounts that are NPA post-2014 and need revival package, it is suggested that deep restructuring which converts their principle liability into a term loan with a waiver in the unapplied interest similar capital infusion up to 20 per cent with a moratorium of 2 years. A fairly extended repayment schedule of about 07-10 years is made applicable to them.”

Besides, interest-free/soft Loans for survival and revival of the Tourism Industry and waiver off on CC accounts/ consumer loans.

Tour operators are to be considered as units as defined under the MSME Schemes. Three-year full GST Waiver for the sector, they said.

“The local industrial sector is undergoing a very difficult period due to a combination of circumstances and changes in Government policies. The lack of budgetary assistance and abolition of Toll Tax without formulation of any substituting protective mechanism has severely impacted the local industries.”

“Due to the thirteen months of a continuous lockdown and for reasons elaborated upon by us in our earlier communications the current situation of our business community is critical and there is a need for amending various guidelines and deadlines with regard to the filing of tax returns and submission of taxes,” the business leaders apprised PM about.

The KCCI has been urging the Government to follow the model of Himachal Pradesh where the Horticulture Sector has benefited tremendously from the aid of Rs 1,134 Crores provided by the World Bank to the HP Horticulture Development Project.

Courtesy : Mukeet Akmali

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