Govt may reconsider market closure roster

Buckling under pressure from traders, the government is mulling to keep in abeyance the reverently issued weekly market closure roster.
As per the roster, the authorities had fixed different week days as “close days” for traders operating in Srinagar.
The roster was issued by the government under SRO-472 on November 16 through the Labour and Employment Department. Before it was implemented, prominent trade and business bodies of Srinagar opposed it on the ground that the “business fraternity” of the city was not taken on board while issuing the new holiday roster.
Invoking the J&K Shops and Establishments Act, 1966, the Labour and Employment Department has fixed different week days as “close days” for traders and businesses operating in 56 areas of Srinagar.
The roster came into being following nudging by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, which had directed the Labour Commissioner to work out a proposal of market-wise holidays so as to ease traffic congestion in Srinagar city.
The market-wise closure for easing traffic congestion in the city was suggested first by then Senior Superintendent of Police, Traffic, Srinagar, Sargun Shukla to the J&K High Court in a written proposal.
“The weekly roster issued vide SRO-472 may be kept in abeyance for the time being as the government wants to incorporate the views of the trader and business fraternity,” sources in the Labour department said.
The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the apex trade body in the Valley, met Minister for Finance, Labour and Employment Haseeb Drabu on Monday to put forward its viewpoint.
“The FM said the government would reasonably consider the request of the chamber about keeping the operation of SRO-472 in abeyance for the time being,” the KCCI said in a statement following the meeting of its vice-president Nasir Hamid Khan with the minister in Jammu on Monday.

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