The business community in Kashmir has urged the J&K administration to pay the overdue payments of the businessmen and entrepreneurs pending for over four years now and rethink the recent decision of imposing lockdown on the weekends.
They stated that the weekend lockdowns have once again adversely impacted the livelihood of daily wagers and the larger business community. The business representatives urged the Lieutenant Governor of J&K Manoj Sinha to pay heed to the demands of the business community, allow the opening of businesses promising to ensure implementation of Covid19 protocol.
“Successive lockdowns triggered due to the pandemic have wreaked havoc on the economy and much to the dismay of stakeholders, the lockdown once again came to haunt,” said Sheikh Ashiq, president of one of the largest conglomerates of business organizations, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries. The J&K administration has decided to impose a 64-hour lockdown from Friday 2 pm till Monday 6 am every week.
“Lockdowns cannot be the first solution or perhaps are not a solution as it does more harm than good…business community ensures support to the administration in implementing proper Covid protocol,” said Ashiq. The business representatives said that financial instability is making the community. “We request the government to come out with certain packages for the business community in the prevailing circumstances,” he said.
The businessmen urged the administration to keep the livelihood of the business community in mind before taking any future decision and tackle the situation in consultation with traders, industrialists, and the business community.
The KCCI has also held a meeting of the Micro Small Enterprises Facilitation Council of Kashmir in which they expressed concern over the long-overdue payments from almost the last four years by the administration. They insisted on clearing the dues as most of those business accounts have turned NPA because of strict bank policies.
The KCCI urged the Director of Industries in Kashmir to take up the issue with the higher authorities of the departments who have withheld the payments of the entrepreneurs and industrialists.
“Long overdue payments must be compensated with interest incurred during the period that will enable these entrepreneurs to run their businesses smoothly again. In current circumstances no young entrepreneurs are encouraged to start their fresh business in J&K,” he said. They urged Sinha and chief secretary A K Mittal to resolve their issues as soon as possible and ‘save them from humiliation and mental agony.’