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Chamber meets CM, discusses issues of trade

SRINAGAR: Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry leaders had a meeting with the Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti in which issues related to trade and industry were discussed, a spokesman of the Chamber said. Javed Ahmad Tenga, Chamber president, led the delegation.

Tenga, according to the spokesman apprised Chief Minister of his recent visit to Turkey and his interaction with the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce. The two chambers had detailed discussions on areas of common interest especially tourism and handicrafts. The President sought the government support in hosting a delegation from the Istanbul Chamber so that these sectors receive an immediate impetus.

Besides, new prospective markets of South East Asia and participation in prestigious tourism fair of GITF China was also brought to the her notice. The Guangzhou International Travel Fair – GITF – is scheduled to take place from March 1, to March 3, 2018 in Guangzhou, China. It is also known as the window to the tourism industry in Asia and the Department of Tourism should participate in this prestigious fair. The domestic and foreign exhibitors also participate in this fair. Similarly, the markets of South East Asia also need similar special focus, the spokesman said.

With regard to the view of targeting of domestic markets, Chief Minister was requested to lead an already announced joint delegation of the Jammu Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry to new domestic circuits of Hyderabad, Bangalore and other places. The Chambers offered that their organisations were ready to bear the costs of this initiative themselves and required facilitation by the State Government in this regard. The President assured her that the Chambers of Jammu & Kashmir would also interact with the respective counterparts of these prospective markets to ensure that the tourism industry of the State received an immediate reviving response. The holding of one-week events in Mumbai and Gujarat were also proposed.

Chief Minister, according to Chamber spokesman directed that the proposals be finalized with the Secretary Tourism so that they are implemented immediately. In this regard, a detailed interaction was subsequently held with the Secretary Tourism and the proposals discussed threadbare.

In the meeting the Chamber President reiterated the demand for intervention by way of adjustment of interest on restructured loans funded by banks (FITL) through waiver of the entire interest coupled with the extension and restructuring of principal amount of loan till June, 2018. Also for those borrowers who have not opted for any rehabilitation , a straight reduction of 5% in rate of interest for the period commencing from 2014 till date. Special customised schemes for new and young entrepreneurs were also discussed.

The issue of Bank loans of artisans under the artisan rehabilitation schemes in the year 2012-13 was also raised. A waiver on the lines of the Kisan Credit Card was urged, the spokesman said.

The President strongly urged for the establishment of an Integrated Textile Park in Kashmir. In the recent interaction Tenga had with Ajay Tamta, Minister of Textiles, Government of India the KCC&I was assured of all support in this regard. It was pointed out that although two textile parks had been set up in Jammu region, similar proposals were pending in Kashmir for grant of land by the State Government. The Chief Minister assured the delegation that land in this regard would be identified and allotted on priority basis. The President briefed the Chief Minister about the positive impact this Park would have on the Handicraft Sector and on “Brand Kashmir”.

On Srinagar Master Plan, the Chamber delegation impressed upon the Chief Minister the need for co option of the KCC&I in the main committee formulating it. The President highlighted the importance of incorporation of the viewpoint of trade, commerce and industry in the process of formulation of any plan and that the role of the KCC&I should not be limited to giving suggestions/objections. The contradictions in the existing land use and the proposed land use plans were also highlighted. The Chief Minister assured due consideration to this request.

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