Business bodies in Kashmir to boycott meeting with Finance Min

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The business fraternity in Kashmir today decided to boycott the pre-budget deliberations to be held by Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu to protest against the government’s failure to rehabilitate the flood-affected people and businessmen in the state.

Kashmir“There was a joint meeting of traders associations and it was decided that we will boycott the exercise of the Finance Ministry to hold pre-budget meetings as a mark of protest against the PDP-BJP coalition government which has completely failed to rehabilitate the victims of the last year’s (2014) flood,” Gowhar Maqbool, Senior Vice-President of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).

He was speaking to reporters at a joint press conference of various trade bodies.

The two-day pre-budget consultations by the Finance Minister are scheduled to begin today.

Maqbool said the Jammu and Kashmir government has let down the people and in such a situation, the pre-budget consultations with the Finance Minister do not carry any meaning.

“The state government came to power on the assurance of rehabilitation of flood victims, but is now insensitive towards the plight of Kashmiris who have suffered huge losses.

Nothing has been done by the government…It has only made promises but done nothing even as a long time has passed. We do not think there is any meaning in having these meetings when the government has failed,” he said.

Afaq Ahmad, Senior Vice-President Federation Chamber of Industry Kashmir (FCIK), said the government had failed in addressing the issue of unemployment and of providing electricity to the people.

“Even industrial estates are left without electricity.

What will we do? If the situation does not improve, we will be forced to lock our units and throw the keys in front of the civil secretariat here,” he said.

The organisations which have decided to boycott the consultations include KCCI, (FCIK), Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHARA), Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation (KHAROF), House Boat Owners Association (HBOA), Transport Associations and Fruit Growers Association.