Srinagar, Apr 8: Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) on Friday said that they are hopeful after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the issues confronting Kashmir's business community will be addressed.
Addressing a press conference at the Chamber office, President, KCCI Sheikh Ashiq said that " this meeting with PM was long overdue, we were scheduled to meet him earlier, but due to COVID, it could not take place. We had a pile of issues, which we wanted to apprise the PM about."
"We discussed issues of all sectors of our economy, from air connectivity, to banking issues, problems faced by the houseboat owners, commercial establishments etc, we submitted a 14-page memorandum where a detailed description of the issues confronting each segment of the economy was deliberated upon," he said.
"We have met HM, Amit Shah, LG ManojSinha, but PM's office being the highest seat of governance in the country we have very high expectations from it and are hopeful that the directions will be issued to the ground level to resolve the issues which the business community of Kashmir is facing," Ashiq said adding that Kashmir economy is in dire straits due to host of reasons which are known to everybody, COVID wreaked havoc we are yet to recuperate from the losses incurred.
"We apprised the PM about the condition of the business community who are on verge of bankruptcy due to none of their fault, our industrial sector, carpet sector is on the mat following the lockdowns, the private sector has witnessed huge losses for which we have sought a revival package to give an opportunity to the beleaguered business community to revive their businesses," he said.
"We sought a comprehensive revival package for all sectors of the economy," he said, adding that the PM assured us that our grievances will be redressed.
Kashmir business leaders on April 4 met Prime Minister NarendraModi in New Delhi, where they submitted a memorandum of demands seeking measures for the revival of the economy.
Ashiq, who was part of the delegation, submitted a 14-page memorandum that sought direct flights from Srinagar International Airport to Jeddah for Umrah and Hajj Pilgrims of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The 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 upto 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 leader 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.