SRINAGAR: Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather in preparation of Jammu and Kashmir Budget for financial year 2013-14 Saturday kick-started his pre-budget consultation with holding first interaction with Kashmir business community, an official statement here said.
Rather held detailed interactive sessions with Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Association, Kashmir Hotel Restaurant Owners Federation and Kashmir Hotel besides Restaurant Association at Excise and Taxation Complex, Solina here.
Economic Advisor to Government, Jaleel Ahmad Khan, Principal Secretary Finance, BB Vyas, Commissioner Commercial Taxes J&K, Kifayat Hussain Rizvi, Additional Commissioner Commercial Taxes Kashmir, Rafiq Ahmad Hakeem, Director Information J&K, Tasaduq Jeelani, Special Secretary Finance, Shakeel-ur-Rehman, Additional Secretary Finance, Deputy Commissioner Audit, Deputy Commissioner Stamps, Deputy Commissioner V&I, Deputy Commissioner Recovery, Deputy Commissioner Appeals of Commercial Tax department attended the meeting.
After listening to the suggestions of various representatives, Finance Minister assured that genuine and significant suggestions will be considered at the time of finalization of budget for next fiscal. He said that holding of this interactive session is aimed at getting knowledge and awareness about the problems confronting trade and commerce at grass root level and also for taking benefit of the concrete and fruitful suggestions by the government. He said government always appreciates stakeholders to come forward and apprise about the concessions which need to be given to traders for undertaking their entrepreneurship smoothly, adding that the members of commerce and industries shall co-operate with the government in increasing the revenue component for the progress and prosperity of the state.
Rather while interacting with Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation reiterated that GST will not be introduced in a hurry, instead the government will take all stakeholders into confidence and ensure that the interests of the State are fully safeguarded
Earlier, KCCI and other associations while making presentation of their suggestions advocated the cause for transfer of power projects from NHPC to J&K State. The Chamber demanded removal of tax levied on handmade shawls and VAT exemption for handicraft items. They said that necessary provisions may be made in the current budget for creating more infrastructure for accommodation avenues for the tourists both in existing hotels and for those to be raised in addition to the existing ones.
The federations appealed for reducing the stamp duty for better compliance and revenue realization besides advocating for setting up of Single Toll Plaza at Lower Munda.
Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation demanded Amnesty in clearing pending tax amount in a phased manner, besides appealed for improving the power supply system. Federation also suggested for strengthening the industrial sector for addressing unemployment problem, besides called upon government to prioritize Agri and Horticulture sectors for the betterment of farmer community.