JKCC shocked by CM’s remarks

‘It implies we are beggars seeking alms’

Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 19 2017 12:02AM | Updated Date: Nov 19 2017 12:02AM
JKCC shocked by CM’s remarksFile Photo

Expressing ‘severe shock’ over Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s recent remarks at a conclave, Jammu and Kashmir Coordination Committee (JKCC), an amalgam of Valley-based trade bodies and civil society, today said the business community is ‘shell shocked and horrified’ by her comments which “imply that we qualify to be in the list of beggars and people seeking alms”.

Convener JKCC, in a written statement, said its members have been reeling under a severe shock that it took them some time to come around and let the statement by the Chief Minister ‘sink in’, which was made by her at “the sponsored and purported Kashmir Business Conclave.” 

“The statements issued at the said conclave have pained us and left us shell shocked and horrified to realize  that those who claim to be ‘our own’ are so sarcastic and imply that we qualify to be in the list of beggars and people seeking alms,” reads the JKCC statement.

While addressing ‘Kashmir Business Conclave’ on November 12, CM had said, “Kashmiri people beat their chests for months and then settle down again demanding waivers and incentives for the losses.” 

“We as a people have to ponder what we are doing. First, we protest then we come with a bowl asking for money,” she had added. 

While saying that it has serious problem with the remarks, JKCC demanding response from “the persons who have chosen to say so”. 

“It took us more time than expected to recover from the choicest invectives hurled by the powers that be on the business community in particular and people in general,” the JKCC statement reads.

According to the JKCC convener, people at the helm, at this point in time, claim that they are representing the populace of Jammu & Kashmir and are there by a popular mandate, will do well to know that they are custodians of the natural resources belonging to the people of the state. 

JKCC convener said, “Does somebody know, in the ruling elite, that the work force in Kashmir is to the tune of 42.5 lakhs, out of which only 4.5 lakhs are employed by the government, and the rest 38 lakhs are absorbed in the private sector. We the businessmen of Kashmir say with pride that we are the biggest employment generators in Kashmir with huge investment in this sector,” the statement said.

“Be it forest wealth, water resources, horticulture, agriculture, minerals, metals and the like all belong to us. Instead of showing that they are real custodians of these natural resources they have become a party to the plunder and loot of these resources and wealth,” the statement said.

The convener said business class of Kashmir is carrying on with their businesses in such adverse circumstances where “their territory is a declared disturbed area and is a conflict zone and all the draconian laws such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). Public Safety Act (PSA) etc are forced upon it”. “Even in these adverse circumstances we are trying to make our ends meet, generally with a profit margin of 5 percent to 10 percent and at the same collect taxes to the tune of 28 percent on behalf of the government to fill its coffers. It is by which the government gets going.” 

“Whether one likes it or not every business activity is a peace time activity and, let us be clear, peace will come only when the Kashmir issue gets resolved to the satisfaction of the stakeholders,” the statement reads it.

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