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KCCI proposes Trade Expo at Tattoo Ground, development of Inland Container Depot

Ziraat Times News Network

Srinagar: A team of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry lead by the President  Javid Ahmad Tenga called on Chief Secretary,  Atal Dullo and discussed issues relating to various sectors of economic activity. According to a statement issued to Ziraat Times, a memorandum was submitted containing the following matters were submitted to him for positive consideration, more so, taking up some matters at appropriate level of the  Central Government:

 

HANDICRAFTS SECTOR:

Establishment of Pre-export Pashmina Testing Lab at Srinagar where over 95% Pashmina products are manufactured and the testing laboratory  be accredited with NABL and Wild Life Department. The certification done at the proposed Lab be made mandatory for the Customs to accept for clearance of export consignment to avoid seizure and delay.

Reduction in GST rate on Handmade Kashmir Pashmina Shawls from 12% to 5%

The Kashmir shawl/Rumal/Scarves are hand produced taking months in production. The long production process involves a significant element of labour/artisanship in the form of spinning, weaving and embroidery. This involves a cost of about 80% of the total value. The KCCI suggests that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir raise this issue in the GST Council as provided under the GST Rules.

Introduction of a separate HSN Code for Pashmina and other Value-Added Shawls.

Your kind attention is invited on the fact that presently all kinds of Shawls including value added shawls are covered under HSN Code 6214.It includes hand produced pashmina and other value added shawls. It is a common knowledge that the process of producing a Kashmiri woven, embroidered Pashmina and other value added shawls take months. The KCCI suggested that the J&K Government take up the matter with the Union Industries & Commerce Ministry for bringing Kashmiri shawls above 3500/-under a separate  HSN CODE .

INCENTIVES UNDER ROSCTL & RODTEP:

The MEIS on export of shawls was withdrawn from 07-03-2019 and replaced by ROSCTL. The MEIS was provided at 5% of the F.O.B value, where as in the case of ROSCTL, rates fixed are 2.655 as STL & 2.10 % of Central Taxes but there is a cap of Rs. 438 FOB which means the shawls costing more than Rs. 438 Will get the same amount of incentives (Rs. 20) which shawls costing Rs. 438.

It is worthwhile to mention here that the minimum FOB price of a woolen shawl is Rs. 3000 and that of pashmina shawls Rs. 7000. The shawls costing Rs. 7000 get the same ROSCTL which the shawl of Rs. 438 gets because of capping. KCC&I suggests that the matter be taken up with the concerned Central Ministry for removal of cap.

 

PARTICIPATION OF EXPORTERS IN NATIONAL/ INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITIONS/FAIRS: –

The exports of Kashmir handicraft items has witnessed a steep fall during the past few years due to various International and local events including Covid 19. It resulted in failure of showcasing of Kashmir Handicrafts in International markets due to non-participation of Kashmiri Handicraft exporters.5 to 6 Lacs artisans are associated with Kashmir handicrafts. There is a dire need for exporter’s participation of in such fairs/fairs/events.

EASTABLISHMENT OF ICD:

KCC&I had  long been demanding the establishment of Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Srinagar to facilitate the movement of export cargo it has become more important in view of growing international demand for Kashmir Handicrafts, Horticulture / Agriculture / Floriculture produce. Your Hon’ble self is aware of the potential for the growth of the horticulture sector from present 10000 crores to 25000 crores which will substantially add to the SGDP with its trickle down effect to remote corners.

INTERNATIONAL EXPO MART AT TATTOO GROUND:

The KCC&I  has  long been persuading  the government to develop an International Expo Mart at Srinagar. This is because  of  the  worldwide demand  for  Kashmir Products. Since Kashmir remained a troubled area  for about three decades  sending  negative signals  globally. However,  the  situation  has  normalized as a result  of which  buyers  from   foreign countries have started to visit  Kashmir to personally source the product on the ground level. Hence the need for developing an International Expo Mart. Presently there is no exhibition centre or International Expo Mart worth the name in Kashmir. In this context it would be worth mentioning that recently the World Craft Council Jury extensively  visited  various handicraft producing  areas in  Kashmir and  held interaction  with Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry as well. The jury among other things observed that establishment  of an International Expo Mart and upgrading the existing Craft Museum would attract international buyers and tourists.

UPGRADING OF CDI INFRASTRUCTURE FOR GI TAGGING:-

The exports have shown progressive growth due to the tireless efforts of the Government and stakeholders. The demand has particularly grown for GI tagged products. However,  due to  lack of    infrastructure and  shortage of manpower  the process of issuing  / granting GI is facing handicap resulting  in inability of exporters  in meeting their  orders and deliveries.  The KCC&I suggests  urgent  upgrading of   infrastructure  and adding   more qualified manpower to enable  it to expedite  the GI tagging process.

TOURISM SECTOR: –

RENEWAL OF TOURIST REGISTRATION LICENCES HOTEL SECTOR  /HOUSEBOATS/TRAVEL TRADE/RESTAURANTS:

The Renewal of Tourism Registration Licenses has become a critical issue for hospitality and travel trade sectors. The renewals take months and years for getting renewed due to their linkage with NOC’s from many other Departments. These Departments, inter se, surprisingly demand NOC’S from other Departments thereby making a simple renewal matter a cumbersome process. This defeats the very purpose of much avowed Hon’ble Prime Minister’s policy of the EASE OF DOING BUSINESS and SINGLE WINDOW SYSTEM, more so, with the UT Government having put more than 1000 services having been put on ON-LINE system.

KCCI suggested that the renewals be made independent of the NOC’s from other Departments. The respective Departments have their mechanism of enforcing their writ and seek compliance of the relevant laws.

DEVELOPMENT OF NEW TOURIST DESTINATIONS ON FAST TRACK BASIS: –

 

In view of huge growth in tourist footfall and increased pressure on a few tourist destinations, the KCCI suggests that the Identified Tourist Destinations be developed on a Fast Track basis to provide more avenues for tourists. The new tourist destinations will be developed in a planned manner taking in   consideration Carrying Capacity, Environmental Impact Assessment of destinations and effects of climate change/Global warming. This is important for sustainable development of tourism and conservation of natural resources which is our USP.

PERMISSION TO HOTELS FOR RENOVATION/RECONSTRUCTION:

The Hotels, Guest Houses and other tourist related outlets are not permitted to undertake repairs, renovation and reconstruction resulting in their deterioration. The Hotels require regular maintenance and upgrading to keep in sync with times by offering modern amenities. This problem is faced at Pahalgham, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Boulevard and areas falling under the LCMA jurisdiction. The Government, particularly the Tourism Department, is doing its best for promotion of tourism resulting in the footfall of record number of tourists during the last three years. However, in order to attract more high-end tourists from the Country and abroad, upgrading the existing infrastructure is of utmost importance.

PROBLEMS FACED BY HERITAGE HOUSEBOAT SECTOR:

 

The KCCI suggests to following measures for preservation of centuries old heritage:

 

  1. a) Urgent Relief and Rehabilitation in times of fire/natural calamities etc.
  2. b) Permission for Reconstruction of Houseboats under Single Window System.
  3. c) Supply of timber from State Forest Corporation on subsidized rates on Fast Track
  4. d) Upgrading Fire Fighting services in the Dal & Nigeen Lakes.
  5. e) The problem of 207 Houseboats which got sunk/ fully damaged due to  floods/ natural      calamities awaiting   required permission  from concerned authorities, for rebuilding  / reconstruction /rehabilitation be resolved on urgent basis.

ESTABLISHMENT OF STP’S/SWM PLANTS /TOILETS ON TOURIST ROUTES / AREAS/DESTINATIONS:

The KCCI suggests establishment of Sewage Water Treatment Plants in Tourist areas/Destinations to prevent water bodies and landscapes from getting damaged. This has gained importance in view of the growing footfall of tourists. There is a huge shortage of toilet facilities and hence dire need to have toilet facilities across the valley.

 

CONNECTIVITY IN ARU AND OTHER HILL STATIONS;

No connectivity except BSNL is available at Aru  and many hill stations subjecting tourists to huge inconvenience. There is an urgent need for connecting such destinations with mobile services.

 

OTS SCHEME TO ADDRESS THE BORROWERS PROBLEM:-

There is an urgent need to announce an OTS Scheme with a higher cap with a longer tenure for settlement of NPA stressed accounts. It will prove beneficial both for the  Banks and the borrowers. The NPA account holders are in distress and are willing to straighten their accounts through a favorable OTS Scheme without riders. The KCCI suggests that the Banks be advised not to take coercive measures till the announcement of OTS.

OTS SCHEME :

Ø Approve and launch a uniform and non-discriminatory  Special  OTS  through all banks with Government support.

 

INDUSTRY:-

Ø INFRASTRUCTURE CHALLENGES.

Industrial Expansion depends on robust infrastructure in place, Developed Estates, power distribution network, water, internal road connectivity.  Allotment should be made after adequate infrastructure is put in place.

 

Ø RESERVATION FOR START UPS.

Ø Adequate reservation for START UPS be earmarked for STARTUPS in new  Industrial Estates

Ø LAND ALLOTMENT CRITERIA BE MODIFIED

 

The Commencement of operation be extended from existing 3 to 5 years. NOC’s  / Clearances be issued within  fixed deadlines under single window System.

 

Ranking policy for land allotment to employability be revived. After Letter of Intent land should first  be developed with all basic facilities followed by land allotment and deposit of money

 

Ø GEOGRAPHICAL CHALLENGES. Such as difficult terrain, weather Conditions, limited working season and working hours, Highway issues, add to procurement/ supplies increase cost of production, and loss of profitability. The Industry needs handholding, rate preferences on  already identified items/ works by government department for local MSME through GeM portal also.

 

Ø New Industrial policy should be in continuation with previous policy and not in suppression of existing policy.

 

Ø Revival of sick units.

 

POWER AMNESTY FOR COMMERCIAL CONSUMERS:

Amnesty for Commercial Power Consumers on the analogy of amnesty granted to domestic consumers. This had already been announced by the Government but necessary orders in this regard are awaited.

 

EDUCATION SECTOR:-

 

The Government SO No. 177 be reconsidered as certain provisions result in schools losing their affiliation and recognition. The majority of the schools have been functioning from rented accommodations from decades . The Landlords are unwilling to lease the properties for 10 years as required  under SRO 177.Previously, only one year lease and extension was required which may be reintroduced.

 

NON INVOLVEMENT IN POLITICAL ACTIVITY CERTIFICATE:

The Chairman of the school would on affidavit swear the non-involvement of political activity of the members. As per new Rules now the requirement is for obtaining police Verification Certificate which takes long time. The KCCI suggests that they previous practice be re-adopted.

 

HUGE LOSS TO PUBLIC EXCHEQUER THROUGH ILLEGAL  RIVER BED MINING:-

The uncontrolled and illegal River Bed  Mining in violation of laws are causing huge loss to public exchequer by way of extracting minor mines through banned machinery and beyond authorized quantities. The KCCI suggests that the mining contractors be made accountable for loss to public exchequer through these illegal activities which are also causing loss of income to fisherman and significant damage to environment.

 

SRINAGAR SMART CITY PROJECT: –

The KCC&I has all along welcomed  the development  and beautification  projects  by Srinagar Smart City Projects  Limited.  However, the deadline for completing these projects are long over.  In this context the pitiable condition of City area ROADS has caused  huge  inconvenience  to  traders and the general public. The commuting time in these areas has increased manifold. The KCC&I suggests that these works be completed in a time bound manner to ease out the difficulties of the people.

 

The Chief Secretary assured the KCC & I team of  necessary action  on the   suggestions containing in the memorandum. The President KCC&I thanked the Chief Secretary for his patience hearing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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