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Internet blockade order of the day but JK plans promotion of e-trade

Srinagar, Jan 31: Amidst internet gags, the government wants to promote e-trade in Jammu and Kashmir.
Internet gags have become a norm in Kashmir, which create immense inconveniences to the businessmen, students, and to people from all walks of life.
During 2017, Kashmir witnessed internet blockade at least 60 times. The internet was blocked 10 times in 2016: there was also 90-days communication ban on mobile telephone and internet following the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani.
Business community has been criticising government for the internet blockade, which, they say, “affects their trade badly”.
Several Information Technology companies have either shut their businesses or moved outside the valley.
At the same time, government, emphasising on encouraging e-commerce, believes that it would “boost” the state’s economy.
Industries and Commerce Department has formulated a draft of JK Trade Policy 2018-2028, which says that various government corporations shall develop e-commerce platforms for trading products from respective sectors to “increase” the outreach of local products worldwide at lower costs.
“The e-marketing shall also eliminate mediators and improve linkages between farmers, food processors, small time artisans/manufacturers and retailers. Government shall support establishment of world class warehouses, distribution centres by means of allocation of land and incentives for such activities,” the draft reads.
It emphasised that e-trade shall be “facilitated and encouraged” by the government.
“Commodity specific action programmes shall be worked out for promoting and facilitating internal trade and export of major items such as handicrafts, dry fruits, saffron, flowers, basmati rice, processed food, juices and concentrates e-payment of all taxes shall be facilitated and a gradual thrust shall be maintained towards making it mandatory in a definite time frame,” it reads.
The government has sought suggestions from the business community about the trade policy, with authorities believing that it would help the state strive to “carve a place for itself in the national economy and a niche for its products in the international market place”.
The vision of the policy as per the draft is to transform the state economy from a supply constrained one into a competitive export-led entity responsive to enhanced domestic integration and wider participation in the national and global economy through trade liberalization in tune with national policies .
“It is for development of new markets including e-market place,” the draft of the policy says.
Commissioner Secretary Industries and Commerce, Shailandra Kumar, said that he was in the assembly. Later he did not receive calls.