North Kashmir industrialists set to protest industrial policy

North Kashmir industrialists set to protest industrial policy

‘Govt shall help us instead of offering incentives to non-local industrialists’
SRINAGAR: The industrialists in north Kashmir say they would take to streets if land is leased to non-state investors under the new industrial policy.
Javid Ahmad Bhat, president Industrial Estate north Kashmir, told to Kashmir Reader that the local industrialists would never shake hands with their non-state counterparts.
Instead, he said, the local industrialists want help from the government in developing their own industries that are providing employment to Kashmiri youth.
“We wonder how the government increased the premier of local industrialists from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. The government should instead help all the local businessmen including us small industrialists so that we can provide employment to unemployed youths of our own area,” he said.
He said the Indian army buys goods from local industries every year, but the state government does not.
“If the government decides to make it worse by allotting land to non-state subjects for industries or business units, we will stage protests and block the roads,” he added.
The industrialists recently met the Finance Minister and Minister of Industries, who responded with assurances, he said.
“Their assurance is the reason that we are silent. Otherwise, we would have started protesting already.”
Bhat said the government increased taxes and cost of raw material, causing downfall of the local industries.
“Now, if they bring in the non-state industrialists, we will be devastated,” he said.
Showkat Ahmad, another businessman from north Kashmir, said the government of India wanted to shut down the business in Kashmir.
“They want to destroy our fruit business and tourism. If government will hand over land to non-locals, we will protest against it,” he said.
Mohammad Yousuf, a business man from Baramulla town, said while incentives were being offered to non-state investors, the business opportunities were being made difficult for the locals through corruption.
“Any beginner looking to set up an industry or a business unit has to pay hefty sums as bribe to babus. The government isn’t concerned about it,” he said.

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