Srinagar: Kashmir’s industrial sector is in extreme distress and there is a need to safeguard the local industry from imminent extinction, industrialists stated this during a workshop held here.
“The industrial fraternity in Kashmir has decided to launch a united fight against anti-industry policies and orders with all the force and might at its disposal to save the existing enterprises from imminent extinction,” the Kashmir-based industrialists said while speaking at a day-long workshop on “Industrial distress and gloomy response from authorities” organised by Kashmir Small Scale Industries Association (KSSIA) at Industrial Estate Baghi Ali Mardan Khan.
The workshop was attended by President Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Shahid Kamili which also saw representatives of the industry across Kashmir in attendance.
“While deliberating upon the unprecedented conditions being created on a daily basis for the existing industrial enterprises for the past two years, the participants blamed the authorities in Jammu and Kashmir for putting the existing industrial sector on terminal sedation instead of looking for required cure and treatment for its disease.,” reads a statement.
It stated that the speakers conveyed their regret over the current industrial policy which has caused anxiety among entrepreneurs. The speakers expressed concern over the falling industrial output and production owing to lower demand, change in procurement policy and liquidity crunch.
They informed that over 50 percent of the industrial units were established in J&K to cater to the demands of the government and all of these have been rendered workless after the government has engaged in procuring its requirements from outside enterprises through the GeM portal.
“While cautioning against the growing labour retrenchments, the Presidents of various estates informed that in the past two years 40 percent of the employees on an average in the organised sector have been cut back by the employers.”
As per the statement, the speakers also discussed the lackadaisical approach for revival and rehabilitation of sick units whose number is growing with each passing day.
“The experts suggested that by the end of the current fiscal, the NPAs in banks in J&K may increase several times than at present. They expressed concern that the banks in J&K have adopted a different and discriminatory yardstick to restructure and settle the accounts under OTS. It was informed that the average haircut being offered to the NPAs of J&K units is a mere 10 percent as against 42 percent settled on the accounts of outsiders by the same banks. They also complained of charging higher rates of interest from the local enterprises than from outsiders.”
Speaking on the occasion, President FCIK Shahid Kamili admitted that industry in Kashmir was passing through a difficult situation and authorities show little interest in mitigating their genuine problems. “Although it is known to everyone that FCIK is the only representative apex organisation of industrial units and associations in Kashmir, yet efforts are being created to sideline it from decision-making committees and boards under the divide and rule policy.”
Earlier, President KSSIA Syed Fazal Illahi welcomed the President and office bearers of FCIK besides other participants who had made it to the event. He flagged the issues confronted by industrial enterprises and criticized the orders being issued that make the jobs of enterprises more complex than easy.