Kashmir Inc pins hopes on CM for revival of state economy

Kashmir Inc pins hopes on CM for revival of state economyCongratulating Mehbooba Mufti for becoming Jammu and Kashmir’s first woman chief minister, business community here has pinned all their hopes on new CM for revival of the ‘beleaguered’ economy and bailing out the state from the current financial difficulties.
Post 2014 floods, Kashmir is yet to come out from the business losses and economic slowdown. JK in fiscal year 2014-15 witnessed negative growth of more than half percent in its GSDP.
The Prime Minister’s package had allocated only Rs 800 crore as relief to provide succor to the flood hit businessmen, which as per the business community is “too little amount to bring back economy on the track from the losses suffered by the community.”
Business community across the board believes that Mehbooba Mufti bring much needed reforms to improve the state economy. They also hoped that she will stop PDD’s move to increase power tariffs, which is going to affect the general consumers as well as business community negatively.
Kashmir Inc is ‘optimistic’ that the CM would bring out state’s beleaguered economy from the trouble. The challenge for Mufti is to attract back tourists to the valley as the arrivals have dropped drastically post flood coupled with dying indigenous craft.
Kashmir’s apex business body – Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)- while felicitating Mehbooba Mufti for taking over as CM has listed its priorities which the chamber hopes the CM will fulfill in order to bring back the state’s economy on track.
“The business community is under stress and there is need of reformative measures to improve economy post floods,” KCCI president, Mushtaq wani said, adding that they would urge the CM to sabotage the PDD’s move to increase power tariff as the department is hell bent to burden consumers by hiking the electricity charges.
He also urged the CM to address the problems faced by the trade and commerce, industry, artisans, handicrafts, tourism, transport, horticulture sectors which suffered huge losses in the September, 2014 floods.
“The position of the business community has become precarious because they are burdened with bank loans and accumulating interests as adequate relief after floods has yet to reach them,” Wani said.
Chairman, Kashmir Economic Alliance, Muhammad Yaseen Khan said the flood hit businesses have not been compensated as per the promises made to them by politicians.
“CM has a challenge in hand to seek additional funds from the centre to provide financial aid to the business community as our economy is in doldrums post-September 2014 floods,” Khan said.
Showkat Chowdhary, heading another faction of KEA said people have high hopes on Mehbooba Mufti as she took lot of time to get assurances from BJP on fulfillment of the promises as a pre-condition to the formation of alliance.
“PDP has stitched alliance with BJP in order to bring in prosperity and the economic development to the State. We salute Mehbooba Mufti for not succumbing to temptations of becoming the chief minister of the State without extracting assurances from BJP, said KEA chairman.
While the business community is optimistic, the tourism fraternity is upbeat hoping that the CM who also holds Tourism Ministry portfolio will pay attention to the revival of tourism sector, which has been facing number of challenges after 2014 flooding.
President, Travel Agents Society of Kashmir, Muhammad Ibrahim Siah stated the Mehbooba Mufti’s becoming CM would boost Kashmir’s tourism.
“Her enthusiasm about tourism sector would help Kashmir’s tourism trade in a long way. We are hopeful that they would visit outside places in order to infuse confidence among people to visit the state,” Siah said.
Travel Agents Association of India, JK Chapter, Shamim Shah said, “Though she is confronted with challenges on the tourism front, but in the past she had shown keen interest in the sector and we are hopeful that tourism sector under her guidance would achieve good results.”

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