SRINAGAR: The state will soon announce compensation for the flood-affected traders of Kashmir Valley, the Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu said on Wednesday.
According to the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), the FinMin told its representatives that the state was committed to provide compensation to the flood-hit traders and would soon make a formal announcement about it.
“The Finance Minister looked positive on every demand. He accepted every demand and, in fact, felt sorry for the undue delay. Dr Drabu said the government was committed to provide compensation to the flood-hit traders and that he would make a formal announcement in this regard in the coming days,” KTMF President Haji Mohammed Yasin Khan, who was part of the delegation that called on Drabu, said in a statement issued here.
Khan hailed the Finance Minister’s “positive response” to the traders’ long-pending demands of compensation to the flood-hit businessmen.
The September-2014 floods devastated the business units in most parts of Srinagar and south Kashmir. To rebuild their businesses, the affected traders have been demanding compensation and other rehabilitative remissions such as in taxes.
The ruling PDP-BJP coalition, soon after it assumed the office, set up a committee for assessing damages and providing compensation to the traders and other affected populace; subsequently, cheques were distributed to affected traders in the functions organised in various parts of the Valley for the purpose.
Most of the traders’ representative bodies, however, opposed the effort, saying the compensation was inadequate and paid to inappropriate persons.
Also, the former government had sought Rs 44,000 crore from the state for rehabilitation of the flood-hit traders and families in the Valley. The traders have been demanding release of the same, while New Delhi hasn’t declared the fate of the package.
KTMF’s representatives, Khan said, told Drabu that the flood victims do not demand rehabilitation package but compensation “as it was only because of the government that the floods devastated Kashmir”.
Khan hoped that the government would announce the package for revival of “the paralysed business sector in Kashmir without any further wait”.
He appealed the Finance Minister to provide special package to the horticulture sector, which has been suffering losses worth millions due to bad weather conditions.
“Bad weather has badly affected prospects of any good business in horticulture sector this year. The government needs to take care of the same,” Khan told Drabu.