Kashmiri business community unimpressed by Modi’s financial package

November 9, 2015 OPINION/NEWS


Irfan Rashid

The Kashmiri business community termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Rs 80,000 crore package to Jammu and Kashmir as a “mere jugglery of figures” stating that of the total package, a meagre Rs 8000 crore has been earmarked for flood victims when the estimated losses are pegged at Rs 1 lakh crore.

Coming down heavily on both the central and state governments for “hoodwinking the people of Kashmir,” the Valley-based business community stated that the government’s first priority should have been the rehabilitation of flood affected people and traders.

President of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mushtaq Ahmad Wani, termed the financial package as “mere eyewash.”

“The Kashmiri business community has reiterated a number of times that the first priority of the government should be the rehabilitation of flood affected people; roads and buildings can wait” he said, adding, “the amount announced by the PM is mere jugglery of figures.”

“The amount would not come to the State in one go as it is being propagated, so the package is a compilation of various funds under various heads which were dished out by the PM as a single figure,” Wani said.

Chairman of the Kashmir Economic Alliance, Muhammad Yaseen Khan, accused Modi of “playing politics.”

“It is a political stunt by Modi to give a notion that he is concerned about Kashmir. But if one analyzes the package, he has again proved that he is a master politician who, by his false promises, hoodwinks the gullible people” Khan said. “More than 70,000 businesses were hit by the floods but the businessmen haven’t even been provided with a penny by the government.”

“Announcing a meagre Rs 8000 crore under the rehabilitation component is a joke with the people of Kashmir who faced the worst ever urban disaster in 2014,” he added.

The Federation Chambers of Commerce of Industry, Kashmir also expressed its disappointment with the package.

President of FCIK, Muhammad Ashraf Mir said there is “little” in the package for flood victims.

“Kashmir suffered huge losses due to the deluge which was even termed by international agencies as the worst ever disaster, and a package of Rs 8000 crore for the rehabilitation of affected people is nothing but a joke” Mir said. “There is nothing special about the Rs 80000 crore package as the Centre usually provides funds to state governments for rebuilding and upgrading under various plans.”

The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kashmir termed the PM’s package as “too little too late.”

President of CCIK, Zahoor Ahmad Tramboo said there is nothing to cheer about the package. “There are thousands of businessmen and people who have lost their livelihood in the devastating floods and their primary concern is the revival of their businesses, not roads and infrastructure” he added.

Patron, Kashmir Artisans Rehabilitation Forum, Sheikh Ashiq said there is “nothing” for flood affected people in this package.

President of the Kashmir Traders Federation, Jan Muhammad Koul also expressed disappointment over the package, stating “there is nothing for flood victims in it.”

“It seems that Kashmiris have again been taken for a ride. Our demand was that the first component in any package by the Centre should be the rehabilitation of flood victims, but the PM’s package has disappointed us” he said.

President of the Kashmir United Automobile Federation, Hilal Ahmad Mandoo said the announcement by Prime Minister has been a “big disappointment.”







Irfan Rashid

The author has a specialization in literary journalism and reports on conflict, politics, urban development, rural development, education and environment in Indian Administered Kashmir. You can read his stories onwww.irfanrashidjournalist.wordpress.com and can follow him on @irfan_kashmiri.


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