Kashmir Inc disappointed by Budget announcements

''Nothing for us''

Saqib Malik
Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 16 2018 11:50PM | Updated Date: Dec 16 2018 11:50PM
Kashmir Inc disappointed by Budget announcementsFile Photo

A day after governor administration approved the state Budget for 2019-20 on Saturday, Kashmir’s business community on Sunday expressed disappointment over the announcements saying there is “nothing” for them in it.

Chairman, Kashmir Economic Alliance, Muhammad Yasin Khan while criticizing the Budget said it has failed to live-up to the expectations of business community, which has been hoping to overcome the slump due to 2014 floods and 2016 unrest. 

Khan who also heads Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation said successive Budgets continue to ignore issue of return of power projects to the state which must be “done at any cost”, he added.

“Implementation of GST and demonetization took a toll on local businesses and were hoping for some relief for businesses in terms of incentives or sops. e-way billing under GST should have been relaxed from present 50 kilometers to 300 kilometers but has been neglected in this Budget,” said Khan. 

 “There were so many promises made but none have been fulfilled in this Budget. This budget taking credit for waiving off penalty on arrears on power is unfair as this announcement was already made in last budget and was lying on the back-burner,” Khan said. 

Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Sheikh Ashiq said while Budget has focused more on infrastructure development such as roads and bridges but at same time it has ignored important sectors such as handicrafts. 

Ashiq said healthy Budget allocations for agriculture and horticulture was a welcome step but added that revival of a dying industry such as handicrafts has been completely ignored in this Budget.

“Handicrafts is an important part and parcel of Kashmir’s history. It is the highest foreign exchange revenue earner which needs to be preserved by introducing carpet villages and handicraft clusters and also providing support for marketing. But it seems the government is non-serious about saving the dying crafts. No mention of handicrafts in Budget is highly discouraging for artisans,” Ashiq said.  

Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir, president, Muhammad Ashraf Mir said most of the announcements for this budget are the unfulfilled promises of last Budget which have been fulfilled now. “Allocations for industrial infrastructure development such as development of industrial estates were already covered during the Budget last year. Instead of this, there could have been some other announcements for revival of sick industries and other industry struggling at present,” said Mir.   

Chairman, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kashmir chapter), Mushtaq Chaya welcomed Budget allocations for tourism sector but said budgetary provision for reimbursement of SGST to hotels, banquets and travel industry has not been fulfilled yet.

“It is encouraging that promotion of tourism has been given an edge in the Budget but on the tax front there is disappointment for tourism and hospitality players ,” Chaya said.

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