J&K traders struggling with growing losses, highlighted the issue before the finance department

j&k traders struggling with growing losses, highlighted the issue before the finance department

Jammu and Kashmir’s trading community on Friday flagged the issue of growing losses before the Finance Department of the Union Territory, weeks after Union Home Minister Amit Shah took a tough position on fresh hand-holding in terms of packages to the local industry.

An official spokesman said representatives of 12 delegations from Jammu and 12 delegations from Kashmir held a pre-Budget discussion with Finance Commissioner Atal Dulloo in Jammu and highlighted the shrinking businesses in the Union Territory, especially after reading down of Article 370 in 2019.

The spokesman said the delegations pointed out that the J&K has suffered economically in the past and business has incurred huge losses, which have also led to unemployment especially since the outbreak of COVID-19.

“They demanded special economic packages and conducive atmosphere to give a boost to the trade activities,” the spokesman said.

The representatives also flagged the issues confronting ailing industrial units, related to finance, banks, electricity, rollback of hike in GST rates applicable from January 2022, comprehensive economic package, and release of COVID relief fund.

J&K top traders association, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), has already submitted an assessment on losses last year to the Union government. It pegged the losses post-August 5 security measures in Kashmir at ₹17,878 crores, with the agriculture sector topping the list at ₹2,827 crores followed by tourism at ₹2,615 crores. These losses were further multiplied by the two waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sources said the Union Home Minister, who was on a three-day visit to J&K in October, had rebuked several local traders and hoteliers who raised the issue of non-performing assets, increasing interest money and losses with him.

Mr. Shah had also hinted at the hardening of the Centre’s position towards the local industry.

Traders assured
Meanwhile, Finance Commissioner Dulloo, who met the traders in Jammu on Friday, assured them that their “valuable suggestions would be taken into account and their genuine grievances would be resolved in a time-bound manner”.

“The memorandums submitted by various delegations will be examined on merits and genuine issues will be resolved,” he said.

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