SRINAGAR: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senior leader and MLA elect Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari Saturday expressed concern over the “awful financial strain” being faced by flood-hit traders in the state.
In a statement issued here, Bukhari appealed Governor N N Vohra to take up the issue of traders’ rehabilitation with New Delhi on priority basis.
He said the floods have not only destroyed the “economic edifice” in Kashmir, but also created a vacuum in the job sector, further aggravating the employment crisis.
“Not only the traders’ community has been deprived of the ex gratia amount so far, but there has been no assessment of losses in the commercial sector. It is a matter of serious concern,” he said.
Bukhari said “comprehensive survey” of losses suffered by the traders should be carried out without any further delay.
“The business community is in shambles and (New Delhi) seems least bothered about their revival and post-flood rehabilitation,” he said.
He asked New Delhi to “honour the commitment made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of extending every possible help” to the flood-hit traders.
Bukhari reiterated his demand for “a minimum Rs 5 Lakh interim compensation” to each flood-affected shopkeeper while demanding that various sections of business community should be “compensated proportionately without any delay”.
Terming sales tax department’s directive for seeking stock statements from flood-hit traders as “extremely irrational” and “bereft of any logic”, the PDP leader said “it was possible that their stock statements would have survived the disaster that destroyed everything.”
Soft loans should be provided to the flood-hit hotels, houseboats, and guest houses that require repairs, he said, demanding “special grants proportionate to the business losses suffered by various categories of the hotels and guesthouses operating in Srinagar.”