While the government is upbeat over the proposed visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Kashmir on November 7, the Valley’s flood-hit traders are less optimistic about any package for their rehabilitation. President Kashmir Traders and Manufactures Federation Yasin Khan said that the traders have no hope from BJP government which deals with Kashmir with a “different yardstick.” “We have lost our faith on the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi after he did not fulfill his promise of the package for traders of Kashmir which were severely hit by floods in September in 2014. For other states which are hit by natural calamities, New Delhi announces huge packages, but for Kashmir it uses a different yardstick,” Khan told KNS. Khan said that the traders have not seen any support either form the state or from the Indian governments. “And we don’t expect any such package on the proposed visit of Modi,” he said. The trade union leader said that Kashmiri business men suffered a very huge loss of 35000 crores by the floods and only 3000 crores were paid by insurance companies. “The visit of Modi is pure politics and nothing beyond that,” he said, adding that 70 percent of flood-hit traders have resumed their business on their own. Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and State’s Finance Minister Haseeb A Drabu have in recent public meetings expressed high hopes from PM about rehabilitation packages for flood hit people in Kashmir. President Kashmir Traders Federation President Jan Mohammad Koul said that the “RSS government” in New Delhi was not ready for development of Kashmir. “Both the state and centre governments have been playing with us over our rehabilitation after the floods. 13 months have gone by after the calamity, what has been announced for us…nothing,” Koul told KNS. “We have met the chief minister and his finance minister time and again and demanded that the government announce a moratorium on tax for two years, which the traders can pay later in quarters after they rebuild their business. But the government did nothing on it. So let them keep their packages with them,” angry Koul said. On the visit of PM, the trade leader said that “RSS government” in New Delhi wants to destroy Kashmir economically. “How can we expect anything from the government which is supported by RSS that wants to destroy economy of Kashmir? We have no hopes form such an RSS nation which is not trustworthy,” he said. Engineer Tariq Ahmad Mugloo, General Secretary Baramulla Traders Association and member of KTMF said that the traders met the Finance Minister Haseb A Drabu. “We had a detailed meeting with the finance minister and when he explained the distribution of the proposed package to us, we did not see anything for rebuilding our trade in it. So, we are not hopeful that anything will be announced by PM Modi during his visit,” Mughloo told KNS.
2015 Kashmir Despatch