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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Much of India’s help for Kashmir businesses only an announcement: apex business body.

Months after India announced a financial package for the local business community in Kashmir, most of the announcements, which were touted as part of Narendra Modi government’s development agenda for the disputed region are yet to see the light of the day.

Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Inc), the region’s apex business body, on Monday said the relief measure announced in September by New Delhi-appointed governor Manoj Sinha, was a ray of hope for the traders, who have borne the brunt of an unprecedented clampdown after the repealing of autonomous status in August last year, but not much has moved on the ground.

The KCC&I spokesperson said the business community of Kashmir was undergoing a period of unprecedented stress and turbulence and heading towards financial instability.

Announcing various measures, the governor had recommended an interest subvention of 5% for six months amounting to ₹1089.24 Crore, partial waiver of fixed electricity charges for one year amounting to ₹80 crore, waiver of water charges for six months costing ₹25 crore, time-bound One Time Settlement, capital infusion in accordance with the Modi’s Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

Various committees were supposed to be constituted like Committee for settlement of Bank, Finances and industry issues with association representatives as members but no steps have been taken yet, the spokesperson said.

The business body said even the hotel owners whose facilities were used by the government for quarantine of travelers were not paid.

The KCCI urged authorities to waiver off all the penalties. The transport sector must be waived off from paying passenger tax, Token tax, Fitness charges and permit fees for the last seventeen months besides complete compensation of insurance for the last one year.

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