Jammu: A united opposition cornered the BJP minister for industries for his bias towards Jammu in the legislative assembly on Thursday.
National Conference (NC) MLA from Ganderbal Ishfaq Jabbar Sheikh accused Minister for Industries and Commerce Chander Prakash Ganga of ignoring Kashmir in allocating funds from the Prime Minister’s package for restructuring industrial units in the state.
Sheikh brought to the notice of the House that Ganga had sanctioned Rs 4,555 crore for revamping the industrial estate in Badi-Brahamna, Rs 1,355 in Reasi, and Rs 1,370 crore in Kathua, all in Jammu, and nothing for Kashmir.
“We are not against Jammu but why Kashmir is being ignored and on what grounds we are facing indiscrimination?” Sheikh asked. He said that the government was in deep slumber as people had encroached on land of the industrial department and were constructing houses on it. He demanded stringent action against persons encroaching on industrial land.
NC legislator Mubarak Gul raised the issue of the industrial units damaged in the September 2014 floods and demanded compensation for them. He also spoke of the loss suffered by industry during the recent turmoil in the Valley.
“There are a lot of sick industrial units in Kashmir, but unfortunately there is no discussion regarding them. What is happening with them, nobody knows,” he said.
Congress MLA from Ladakh, Asgar Ali Karbalayi, called for reopening of the traditional silk route for trade with central Asia.
MLA Hakeem Yaseen said that Kashmir had plenty of entrepreneurs but the government was not giving them opportunity or incentives. He lamented the neglect of the cricket bat industry and he lambasted the government for its failure to identify outsiders who were falsely tagging their cricket bats with the ‘Made in Kashmir’ label.
MLA from Batamaloo and PDP legislator Noor Mohammad Sheikh also talked in tune with the opposition, saying that educated unemployed youth who wish to start their own business have been “traumatised” in trying to get help from government departments.