Government to hold pre-budget consultations with Kashmir Inc
Heads of trade, travel and industry bodies are scheduled to present their point of view to the government vis-a-vis budget consultations.Pxfuel [Creative Commons]

Government to hold pre-budget consultations with Kashmir Inc

Srinagar: Ahead of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir’s third budget to be presented in Parliament, the government officials have scheduled pre-budget consultations from Thursday with the business community of Kashmir division.

According to officials, various trade and business association’s heads have been called for a pre-budget consultation to be held with the Financial Commissioner (Additional Chief Secretary) Finance Department Atal Duloo at the State Taxes department via video conferencing.

Heads of trade, travel and industry bodies are scheduled to present their point of view to the government vis-a-vis budget consultations.

As per the business community members, all the trade and industry bodies will take up the issue of revival of Kashmir’s economy with the government.

Speaking to Greater Kashmir, President, Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir, Shahid Kamili said that “we want the government to do pain management not just cosmetic measures. Since 2016 our economy is bleeding losses, industries are facing closure due to multiple lockdowns. We are not able to repay our loans, businessmen are paying idle wages, and there are a plethora of problems which need to be addressed on priority basis.”

“We will take up all these issues and seek their redressal. We don’t want this pre-budget exercise just to be a customary one,” Kamili said, adding that “it is the responsibility of the government to safeguard interests of the business community who are facing huge losses due to none of their faults.”

“Industrial sector is facing huge losses, normally industries in other states are in position to clear their bank advances within five years of operation, but here in Kashmir even after 20 years we are not able to repay our loans due to the host of reasons. Government is well-aware about all these factors, but it is time they should come up with a comprehensive revival package.”

General Secretary, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, Bashir Ahmad Kongposh who is also scheduled to participate in pre-budget consultations said “ business community in Kashmir is facing a tough time. Our economy is yet to recuperate from the losses we incurred during the last three years. We would put forth our points and seek measures to redress them. Our main agenda for the meeting is to seek a comprehensive revival package which would cover all sectors of the economy.”

J&K has already completed pre-budget discussions with all the head of departments. Now government has directed different departments to furnish relevant material for finalization of the Union Territory’s budget document for the next fiscal within a week’s time.

The Finance department asked the departments and head of departments to furnish material like Action Taken Reports (ATRs) on the budget announcements (2021-22) highlighted in the budget speech 2021, details of establishment as per sanctioned strength, Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FBRM) statements, House Rent Allowance (HRA) provision for inclusion within revised estimates 2021-22, key features, budget speech note and key points.

The budget for the ongoing fiscal was presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 17. Of the Rs 1.08 lakh crore budget proposed for the ongoing financial year, Rs 39,817 crore were allocated for capital expenditure and Rs 68804 crore for revenue expenditure.

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