“ There is nothing new in world except the history you do not know.” – Harry Truman

Price of mixing politics with business extracts a heavy toll in Kashmir, but FCIK and KCCI shamelessly co-sponsor most hartals and shutdowns while keeping their hands stretched out for more government aid

Local industry incurred losses over Rs 10000 crores: FCIK

Industrial sector of Kashmir requires edge: KCCI

Srinagar: Putting the losses incurred by local industry at over Rs 10,000 crores over the last two decades, Shakeel Qalander, President of Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), said that the domestic industry requires protection in terms of pre and post facilitation which are essential for the industrial sector to function.

“Our local industry has suffered losses worth over Rs 10,000 crores with over 20,000 industrial units turning sick out of 40,000 units across the valley. We require an industrial policy that would attract new entrepreneurs to establish their units in Kashmir instead of government jobs. We need better facilities, better road connectivity and basic infrastructure, to be provided by the government by virtue of pre facilitation”, Qalander said.

With respect to investments coming to the State, Qalander said that despite a uniform industrial policy across the State the focus of infrastructural development remains towards Jammu and Kathua, while the rest of the State is ignored.“There should be a differential policy for all the backward districts so that infrastructural development takes place there as well,” Qalander said.

In terms of post facilitation Qalander said that once products are manufactured by the local entrepreneurs, there is a requirement for post production marketing cover from the government. “Our State has an annual budget of Rs 9000 crores for development purpose out of which Rs 3600 crores are spent on required purchases per annum. If government makes purchases from the local producers, the industry here would greatly benefit. ,” Qalander said.

Stating a requirement for an edge rather than protection, president Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), Mubeen Shah said, “We would like to have an edge rather that protection for our State’s industries. Protections should be restricted to only export of raw material which can help the local industry grow and the only thing we need is expertise.” He said that why should the people pay more, just because of inefficiency of the local industry. “Rather than diversity of production, there is a requirement for focusing on a niche market that would provide an edge in the global market and would help the industry grow due to less competition”, Shah said, adding a requirement for price protection that should be automatically be implemented, besides requirement for establishment of basic infrastructure and imperative facilities like power.

(Rising Kashmir)