Traders hold seminar to highlight their plight

‘Economy of Valley has touched lowest ebb’

Irfan Rashid
Srinagar, Feb 28: A day-long seminar was organized by Kashmir Traders and Manufactures Federation (KTMF) Saturday here in a local hotel to highlight the post flood deteriorating situation of traders and how government failed to rehabilitate them.
Speaking in the seminar, KTMF President Mohammad Yaseen Khan taking a dig at ‘apathy shown by the State and Delhi’ said, “I feel pained and concerned about the fake and farce announcements made by the government regarding rehabilitation packages to valley traders who were reduced to zero in terms of capital and assets by devastating floods in September, last year.”
“The economy of the Kashmir valley has touched the lowest ebb after businesses failed to sustain the establishment cost which is leaving heavy debts on the already crippled traders who are not able to submit their fourth quarter of the sales tax,” he said.
On this occasion, senior vice president of KTMF talked about the resistance that traders showed after flood and said, “Within two weeks after flood we resumed our work from a temporarily office in Sonawar and worked to create State Economic Reconstruction Forum (SERF) as an amalgamation of apex business associations of the State to voice our complaints through a single medium to the government.”
“When Modi came to valley to celebrate Diwali, he promised to help every trader with Rs 5 lakhs but he discriminated Kashmir against Jharkhand where Rs 10 lakhs were doled out in a speedy manner,” he said.
The historical loss suffered by business community in twenty districts is estimated to the tune of Rs 30,000 crores affecting over 65,000 business establishments, out of which 14,000 stand wiped out.
The speakers also talked about the plight that flood victims suffered due to announcement of elections in State at a time when whole government machinery must have been used to rehabilitate people.
Bashir Ahmad Kongposh, General Secretary of KTMF said, “The traders’ community was expecting full support from the government as traders are the greatest contributors to the ex-chequer in shape of tax payments but the government ignored us.”
They castigated the government for asking traders to pay taxes, electricity charges and other charges.
“SMC did not waste a single day in announcing permissions to collapsed houses on fast track announcements but only 2500 permissions were given out of one lakh constructions,” said Bashir Ahmad.
Attaching high hopes with the new Modi-Mufti alliance, KTMF stressed that new government should take up many tasks including compensation of the losses and rehabilitation of the traders, ten year interest free advancing as business capital, twenty year interest free advancing towards construction of commercial building, suspension of all the taxes including VAT and income tax till traders get rehabilitate and interest waiver of all the bank account directly or indirectly affected by floods.


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