Junaid Nabi Bazaz
SRINAGAR: The state government is likely to provide financial assistance to uninsured flood-hit traders of Kashmir Valley soon.
Syed Altaf Bukhari, a member of Cabinet Sub-Committee (CBS) for relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims, told Kashmir Reader that the government has already initiated the process for financial assistance to the uninsured traders.
“The government is gathering data of traders who were uninsured at the time of floods, and insured only after the devastating floods hit Kashmir,” Bukhari, who is the state’s R&B Minister, said Thursday.
“The assistance will be provided to 27,000 traders from across the Valley,” he added.
The assistance, Bukhari said, would be provided from the Chief Minister’s relief fund.
“This amount is only for uninsured traders who have not received any assistance so far. People should not confuse this amount with the Government of India’s flood package, which will hopefully be released soon,” he said.
The government has announced a turnover-specific compensation scale, offering up to Rs 1 lakh, Rs 1.5 lakh, and Rs 2 lakh to the traders with turnover of Rs 5 lakh, Rs 10 lakh, and above 10 lakh, respectively.
However, in the initial phases of its relief distribution, the state government provided cheques for Rs 25, 000 to 50, 000 to some flood-hit traders. Bukhari said the cheques were given “to the likes of bakers and butchers whose loss was not more than this amount”.
“We also assess the magnitude of loss caused to a trader, so that the victim can be put in the deserved category for compensation,” Bukhari said.
In September floods, as per the JK government’s assessment, the state suffered a loss of Rs 1 lakh crore, which is contradictory to the World Bank’s figure of Rs 21,000 crore.
The former JK government submitted Rs 44, 000-crore relief proposal to New Delhi, aiming to utilize the grant in reconstruction of the flood-ravaged state.
After coming into power, the PDP-BJP coalition formed the six member committee under Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh for assessment of the losses and to, subsequently, recommend the measures for compensation.
The committee interacted with different trade organisations in early March and promised to begin providing compensation within 45 days.
“The release of the amount (provided in the initial phases) is a result of that process,” Bukhari said, adding that the CM is “strongly pushing” for release of the amount from the Government of India.