Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry is disappointed with the economic package announced by Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Saturday. KCCI said that the Central Government has ignored September flood victims who faced huge losses. “Contrary to the expected immediate response from the Central Government, the Prime Minister in his inordinately belated announcement has come out with a baffling allocation of funds in the name of package,” KCCI President Mushtaq Ahmad Wani told reporters here. According to KNS correspondent, Wani expressed KCCI’s concern that mere Rs. 7854 crores have been earmarked for flood relief and reconstruction including flood management. “The requirement of flood relief is Rs 37000 crores which was demanded by the previous state government exclusively for losses suffered. Over Rs. 30,000 crores is estimated for flood management of water bodies. But the amount that has been kept the whole flood relief is disappointing,” Wani said. Modi on Saturday announced an economic package of Rs. 80,000 crores for five years for the Jammu and Kashmir state. KCCI hailed Rs 42611 crore of the package are for Roads and National Highway Projects and Rs 5,263 crores for rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrant families, families from Chhamb and Pak and for creation of India Reserve Battalions. However, KCCI rued that a paltry sum of Rs 2,241 crores is earmarked for Tourism and new projects ignoring the damages suffered by the industry. It said that Rs 529 crores for Agriculture/Food Processing which is not enough to meet the requirement in view of the burgeoning demand and growth prospects in these essential sectors of the state economy. KCCI said there is also no mention of Handicraft and allied sectors which have been providing employment to a large number of people in the state. The central government has also ignored the business establishments, commercial sector, transport and tourism sectors which have been persistently suffering. “Thus the package appears to be shallow way below the expectation containing nothing special to benefit the people as badly needed short term relief package,” “But to our dismay either the state government has failed to convince them or the government of India has not taken it seriously,” he said. It is baffling why the Central Government has shut its eyes even after an eye opening report by International Report in Annual Disaster Statistical Review listing Kashmir floods as the costliest natural disaster in the world in 2014 putting the loss at 104000 crores, he said. KCCI lamented the treatment meted out in respect of dispensing the relief requirements. “We will in association with all the stakeholders are contemplating to explore other options for seeking compensation for the losses suffered by the flood affected people,” Wani said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch