Green revolution in Punjab at JK’s expense: Kashmir Inc
GK BUSINESS REPORTER
Srinagar, July 2: Valley’s apex business body, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) today said the “green revolution in Punjab could happen only at the cost of J&K.”
Senior Vice President KCCI, Abdul Hameed Punjabi told Greater Kashmir that while the 1960-Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan has restrained J&K from utilizing its water resources, “it has allowed Punjab unhindered access to waters of three rivers, which in turn has helped it to boost its agriculture sector.”
Punjabi welcomed the recommendations a state government-appointed Commission has made regarding compensation J&K should seek on account of IWT.
Pertinently, the State Finance Commission which has submitted its report to the government last November has recommended that J&K should seek compensation for IWT losses from both India and Pakistan. It has also recommended that the State should seek an increase in royalty on power projects being run by National Hydro Power Corporation from current 12 per cent to 25 per cent.
Punjabi said the state should adopt these recommendations and ensure it gets adequate and due compensation from both the countries. Pertinently, it is for the first time that a recommendation for seeking compensation from Pakistan has been made by any quasi-official panel.
The Commission, which was constituted by the state government through a legislative Act, has pointed out that the opportunity cost of economic growth and development forgone as a result of IWT, needs to be assessed from September 1960 to August 2010 and compensation be claimed from both governments of India and as well as Pakistan.
The panel report, however, suggests that J&K can claim compensation from Pakistan through government of India.
IWT, an international agreement brokered between India and Pakistan by the World Bank in sixties, puts rider on how the two countries use and share the water resources in the region.
Out of the six rivers in what is called the Indus basin, India has exclusive rights over the waters of the three major Eastern rivers - Ravi, Beas and Sutlej before they enter Pakistan, while as Pakistan has rights to three large Western rivers that first flow through J&K- Indus, Jhelum and Chenab.
The water-sharing agreement, however, restricts J&K from fully exploiting its hydro-resources for irrigation and power generation. The treaty is seen as a bottleneck for which J&K has forgone its development of industry, power, and agriculture for the last 60 years.
Punjabi said the KCCI has all along been suggesting the state to seek compensation from both countries. “Our then president raised this issue in PUGWASH conference in Sri Lanka in 2008 where he addressed the ‘intra-Kashmir economic cooperation’.”
“Prior to that we had submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister of India raising the same issue,” he said, adding that IWT is the most “unfortunate agreement” to which India and Pakistan are sticking only because both countries are taking benefits “out of our resources.”
Meanwhile, the KCCI has appealed the government not to allow liquor shops at tourist spots. Punjabi said such shops at tourist places “are creating nuisance and become a subject of rift. So the government should avoid allowing such shops at tourist spots,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 2 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 2 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 3 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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