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KCCI hails Asiea Naqash for opposing transferring of industrial land to security forces

Srinagar, Jun 14: The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry has hailed Minister of State for Industries and Commerce Asiea Naqash for opposing transfer of erstwhile HMT industrial land at Zainakote to security forces.
A spokesperson of KCCI in a statement has hailed the “pro-industry” stand taken by the Naqash regarding the transfer of erstwhile HMT industrial land at Zainakote to the security forces.
“The statement of Asiea Naqash has confirmed the stand taken by the KCCI. It has also exposed the designs of vested interests in the industries and commerce department bent upon choking the limited resources available for development of industries in Kashmir. Kashmiri business community is becoming a target of regional and institutional bias and discrimination,” the statement.
Out of 527 kanal estate of erstwhile HMT factory, state government has allotted 246 kanals to J&K police for building a housing colony and 80 kanals to paramilitary SSB. The factory was closed in 90s after the onset of militancy.
Naqash last week told The Kashmir Monitor that the land was meant for unemployed youth to set up the industrial units.
“There is no industrial land available in Srinagar. I am not in favour of transferring industrial land to JK police for construction of the housing colony,” she said.
“I don’t know who issued the orders for transferring of 246 kanals of land to police,” she said.
The KCCI claimed that members of the Cabinet were “misled” by the Industries and Commerce Department through “resorting to suppression/twisting of facts”.
Commissioner Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Shailendra Kumar had said the construction of a police colony at erstwhile HMT land is “a cabinet decision which has been implemented”.
“The KCCI seeks the intervention of all the members of the Cabinet to ascertain the facts of the issue and review any decision, which seeks to snatch scarce property reserved for industrial development for any other use,” the statement said.
It has appealed representatives in the Legislative Assembly to take note of the “objectionable conduct of mischievous elements in the administration and take necessary action in this regard”.
“This act also calls for a review of decision of the Government relating to posting of officers to positions of responsibility. Officers in the State Government, who understand, appreciate and recognize the need to implement the Industrial Policy of the state alone need to be posted in the Industries and Commerce Department so that derailment of Industrial Policy is prevented. Need of the hour is to post officers who are unbiased and do not suffer phobia of regionalism carrying sectarian undertones,” it said.
The statement said that KCCI has received complaints regarding the problems confronting the public especially the members of the business community regarding the functioning of various government departments especially the J&K State Pollution Control Board.
It said that similar complaints were coming from the hotel industry too, where establishments are dependent on the consent from the Board for their registrations/licences with various departments like Tourism, Estates etc. “Cases are delayed on flimsy pretexts and applicants threatened with conduct of complicated tests and inspections unless they do as desired. There are disturbing reports which require to be looked into.”
“The issue having been discussed in the Executive Committee of the KCCI, it was decided that a fact finding team from the Kashmir Chamber would ascertain the situation on ground and also seek details from the public in this regard through a public notice.”
The KCCI has also submitted a memorandum, which reads, “The state government has not only regularised the forcible occupation but gone on e step ahead further by presiding over the butchering of any entrepreneurial hopes the local business community and unemployed youth might have harboured. The local entrepreneurs shall now have to set up vibrant business enterprises at places not suitable for housing colonies and security camps. The state government has stabbed the local industry in the back.”
As per a government order, J&K’s Industries and Commerce Department has allocated 246 kanal of land to Police Department for construction of a housing colony in lieu of due payment.
Earlier in 2010, on the directions of then chief minister Omar Abdullah, the industries and commerce department had constituted a high-level committee comprising managing director SICOP, MD SIDCO and director industries Kashmir “to look into the land issue.”
The committee had recommended use of the factory land for industrial purposes, stating it would generate job opportunities for more than 1000 unemployed youth.