SRINAGAR: A delegation of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry led by Nasir Hamid Khan, Senior Vice President on Thursday called on K Skandan, Advisor to Hon’ble Governor. The spokesman said that Nasir Hamid Khan while deliberating upon the precarious state of our economy suggested measures for the protection of our industries. He stated that a big impediment in the growth of our business sector especially industries was the ad-hocism in the formulation of policies, improper implementation and their frequent chopping and changing.
The Hon’ble Advisor was apprised about the fact that the economy of Kashmir had to bear the impact of demontisation and GST implementation when it was already reeling under the effects of the 2014 Floods and 2016 turmoil. The financial capacity of people had been reduced to such an extent that it was getting difficult to even meet taxation obligations.
The simple transportation of apples to markets had turned into a nightmare due to the frequent closure of the Srinagar Jammu Highway. Whereas our neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh had procured thousands of crores from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank for the development of the Horticulture Sector including Apples and Walnuts, we had not been able to properly develop this industry. The Hon’ble Advisor stated that proper linkage and marketing studies needed to be done for ensuring that the Kashmiri products are available at all major markets. In this regard, he suggested that the KCC&I being stakeholders should jointly work with the Horticulture Department so that effective policies and permanent solutions are developed.
The Vice President informed Hon’ble Advisor about the problems arising out of delays and difficult eligibility criteria’s for availing various schemes, especially under MSME. He said that the business community suffered due to faulty Master Plans which had failed to reflect the requirements of a developing economy. There was a need for relaxation in the eligibility criteria’s for Kashmir as a majority of stakeholders were not qualifying the stringent guidelines. The delay in the release of GST refunds to industries which had tied up substantial working capital was also discussed. The Hon’ble Advisor assured that the Government would consider delinking these refunds from the mandatory DIPP inspections or ensuring timely refunds.
The crippling impact of GST on our handicraft sector was discussed. As GST had had a negative impact on most unorganized sectors, our Handicraft sector had also suffered huge losses on this account. There was a dire need for revival through proper promotion and marketing events in domestic and global markets.