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Timely suggestions

KCCI


The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry has presented before the government a slew of measures to tackle the fresh crisis that has hit the economy by the deadly wave of the pandemic. The Chamber Wednesday submitted a memorandum to the government led by LG Manoj Sinha offering practical suggestions on how to minimise the damage to the economy and ensure that people impacted by this lockdown, which no one denies is absolutely necessary, heave a sigh of relief. After going through the memorandum, one can say without a doubt that the suggestions given by the chamber should be implemented at the earliest. The chamber rightly drew the attention of the Government towards the plight of the vulnerable sections of the handicrafts sector and fervently appealed that cash assistance of at least Rs 5,000 per month be provided to them as also to other weaker sections of the economy including shikarawallahs, transporters, daily wagers and others to tide over the present situation. In Finance & Banking, it suggested the Government to consider revisiting the Interest Subvention scheme which has been much appreciated by all the sectors of the economy. Besides, weak and vulnerable sections belonging to all economic sectors like daily wagers, small traders, laborers, street vendors and hawkers, bus drivers and conductors, autorickshaw drivers, tourist taxi drivers need help due to their inability to earn a living. The KCCI also suggested the government to consider activating the Government Arts Emporium which has assets all over the country for directly purchasing handicraft products directly from our artisans and weavers and aggressively marketing the same throughout the country. The Handicrafts Sector of Kashmir, it said, could receive a huge boost if the Central Government would reserve a minor percentage of Central Government purchases as well as urge other State Governments throughout the country for purchase of Kashmiri Handicraft products including Shawls and Carpets, office furniture and interiors, stationery. With regard to the continuous closure of business establishments, the chamber suggested that the fixed demand charges be waived off for the period of lockdowns and electricity be charged as per actual usage. Regarding the loan accounts of traders, it urged for a special rehabilitation facility as has been done for the MSME sector which would enable them to keep their accounts regular and their businesses operational. These and many other suggestions by the business chamber have come at the right time. One hopes that the government would seriously consider the memorandum and see whether all or at least few of the pointers in it can be implemented in J&K as soon as possible.