Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and MOS PMO Jitendra Singh were also present in the meeting

After meeting the Apni Party delegation led by Altaf Bukhari, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Tuesday met Kashmir-based business community and assured them that Government of India (GoI) would come up with a comprehensive policy to revive economic condition of Jammu and Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and MOS PMO Jitendra Singh were also present in the meeting.

The meeting took place after the business community had written a letter to MoS PMO seeking his help in facilitating appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to get his “Vishwas” for revival of deteriorating economy of Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.

At least 15 member delegations representing around 40 business associations met the Union Ministers.

During the meeting, which lasted for a one-and-a-half-hours, the delegation briefed the ministers about the losses suffered by traders and prevailing economic situation in the Valley.

The delegation included representatives of Kashmir Chamber Commerce and Industries (KCCI), Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), Kashmir Traders and Manufacturing Federation (KTMF), Federation of Commerce and Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Jammu Kashmir Hoteliers Club (JKHC), Travel Agent Association of Kashmir (TAAK), House Boat Owners Association (HBOA) among others.

KCCI chief Sheikh Ashiq said the purpose of the meeting was to update the Home Minister about the economic crises that the business fraternity in Kashmir is facing since August 5.

In the past three weeks, Kashmir’s business community including traders, hoteliers, silk producers, artisans, fruit associations and other trade and commerce bodies have sent out an SOS appeal in the form of paid advertisements in local dailies.

The SOS message emphasises that the “ill-fated trade, tourism, horticulture, agriculture, handicrafts, commerce and industrial community of Kashmir is in the middle of the sea of debt and destruction”.

"We discussed the plethora of problems related to distressed economic condition of Kashmir," Ashiq said, adding, “Both Home Minister and Finance Minister assured us that after assessing the situation, they will come up with a comprehensive policy to revive J&K’s economy."

As per the report compiled by KCCI, Kashmir suffered losses of around Rs 17,000 crores after abrogation of Article 370 by GoI on August 5.

Ashiq said apart from raising economic problems, the delegation also took up the issue of detained businessmen and youth languishing in various jails of India.

"The Home Minister assured us that release of all detainees have started. He said all detainees including detained businessmen will be released,” the KCCI chief said.

On August 5 last year, GoI abrogated special status of Jammu and Kashmir and imposed massive security restrictions and communication lockdown across the erstwhile state.

This was the second meeting of the Home Minister with representatives of Kashmir.

On Sunday, the Home Minister met a 24- member delegation of the newly-launched “Jammu Kashmir Apni party (JKAP)” led by Altaf Bukhari to discuss the prevailing political and economic situation in Jammu Kashmir.

Courtesy: Rising Kashmir

Rising Kashmir