Kashmir traders meet Amit Shah, seek financial assistance, bail out

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By Pragya Kaushika

NEW DELHI: The representatives of various trade organisations from Kashmir on Tuesday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Minister of State for PMO Jitendra Singh in the Parliament and apprised them about the hardships faced by the business community in the region for over 30 years and that it needs a bail out soon.

Along with this, representatives requested Shah to implement Centre sponsored schemes in the Union Territory.

“Schemes like Prime Minister Development Package (PMDP), Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGY), Saubhagya are not implemented in letter and spirit and payments too have been delayed despite completion of works. Request to implement these schemes,” stated one of the representatives.

New Delhi, Mar 17 (ANI): Union Home Minister Amit Shah with representatives of different sectors from Jammu and Kashmir, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and MoS PMO Dr. Jitendra Singh, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (ANI PHOTO)

The delegation of trade associations and organisations met the Home Minister on the day when demands for grants for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were laid in Lok Sabha for discussion.

Speaking to ANI, the representatives said that the Shah heard them patiently and assured them all the help government can provide to them. 

“The meeting had been satisfactory. We told him about the troubles we are facing for past 30 years because of the unrest and turmoil. The entire business community is crumbling under its own weight of involuntary failures, the failures that have been imposed on us. Union Home Minister has assured us all the help,” said Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad, president of the Kashmir chamber of commerce and industry.

Baldev Singh Raina, chairman of PHD chamber of commerce Kashmir chapter said that the Union Home Minister has briefed them about Rs 30,000 crore investment plan for Jammu and Kashmir. “We got to know about the budget that was laid and the minister also told us that Rs 30,000 crore would be invested in the Union Territory. We hope our concerns about banking sector too will get addressed. We are happy that meeting went well and we are hopeful that things will be improved in the region now,” said Raina.

The industry representatives had given several demands and concerns in writing to the Home Minister. These include revival of the existing businesses before new investment is poured in for new businesses, revival interventions for Kashmir handmade carpets industry focusing on weavers, manufacturers and exporters and special schemes aimed at revival of all the traditional crafts of Kashmir.

Another demand focussed on tourism and hospitality business that was given the status of industry in 1995 but incentives were never extended.The representatives demanded that that RBI’s rehabilitation scheme where accounts were not overdue on August 5,2019 were only made eligible for benefit and that all standard accounts should be made eligible. “An interest waiver for all loan accounts for two quarters from August 2019 is also requested,” stated the demand. (ANI)