Muhammad Yaseen Khan
President Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Fedration
The Budget has not impressed the trader community, as it does not have much to offer. The traders were expecting that there will be inclusion of the demands they put forth during the pre budget meeting, but that has not been included. We had demanded a separate toll post for the Kashmir Traders either at Lakhanpur of Lower Munda, but there has not been any headway on this. Several other demands have not been included, that is why we now see that the pre budget meets where a waste of time and have not achieved the desired results as the budget is reflective of that.
Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad
President Kashmir Chamber of Industries and Commerce
The KCCI welcoms certain provisions in the Budget like non imposition of any new taxes continued exemption to the industries and Tourism Sector and increasing of Audit limits from 60 lakhs to 100 Lakhs.
However there has not been an road map for taking back of NHPC Projects by keeping provision of funds for this buy back that could have make us economically self sufficient .
The demand of general trade particularly form the Kashmir Valley that all the goods imported to valley should be checked at Lowermunda instead of Lakhanpur which would have saved time as well as mental agony and finance of the local traders has not been announced as demanded by KCCI has not been met, besides no provision for revival and rehabilitation of sick industrial units in Kashmir. All the above issues were discussed with the Finance Minister in the pre-budget discussion meeting but unfortunately did not find any place in the budget.
Industrialist, former president FCIK
This Budget is more of an imaginary juggling of figures with least focus on resource generation and precursor of our dependence on Central devolution. We have seen the current budget has been lowered by 2000 cores as the government of India cut down the aid and one does not know what this proposed budget will settle at in future. With the dependence on Central government one cannot judge what they will be offering us or they will be further restraining. Resource generation is grossly missing and the government has not been innovative on this front not to keep provision for investment that will yield the revenues. Further the government has totally sidelined the fact on what provision of funds it has kept for the newly set up administrative units. This creation of the new administrative units without any funds will leave these units as a skeletal one that will not yield much.
General Secretary Kashmir Whole Sale Kiryana General Merchants Association
The budget is disappointing as far as concession for a common-man are concerned. There is no special attention to essential commodities mostly the food products we consume and no effort has been made to lower their prices. Instead of human food, thrust has been on animal food, even with announcements in lowering of toll to benefit the manufacturing sector.
We have been pursuing for some of the food items to be lowered on VAT list including the green tea that invites 13.5 VAT. Inflation in various food items could have been effectively tamed by lowering the VAT, but that does not happen here. The common man does not find the budget palatable as inflation has already burdened him.
Ghulam Jeelani Purza
Chairman J&K Contractors Coordination Committee
The Budget has completely given a miss to the development aspect, as there is no provision for infra structure development. There is no provision to catapult development and most of it will be dependent on central assistance rather than generate more finances for this locally. The government is not keen in presenting the real picture of the financial crisis it faces and come up with this ingenious budget, which does not have solution of easing the financial crisis. At present the government has not been paying the contractors and a liability of Rs 500 crore is pending and the money received for this from the government of India has been diverted. There is no road map on how we can erase this debt. The contractors this year did not even attend the pre budget meeting, as the practice did not yield them much desired results till now.
—As told to Abdul Mohamin