Jammu: The opposition National Conference (NC) on Wednesday said that the local industry in Jammu and Kashmir was facing a set-back from banking sector.
Participating in debate over grants to Industries, NC’s Ali Mohammad Sagar said huge claims were made that local industrialists were given loans but all was done on papers only as “their genuine demands were ignored”.
He claimed that non-local industrialists were getting “heavy loans” from nationalised banks in J&K “and then they do not pay back which results in non-performing assets (NPA) too”.
“The home-based industries that include handicrafts and other industries are getting nothing,” he told the Legislative Council. “What is government doing to boost the home-based industries which are a major booster of J&K economy,” he asked.
He said that it was Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah who revived the handicrafts post 1975 accord. “Because it requires neither qualification nor age limit,” he added. “But now, we are seeing new atmosphere and new boundaries.” Sagar alleged that government had allowed non-state subjects to extract sand from rivers in J&K. “There is a sand mafia from Chandigarh extracting sand here now; the locals have been deprived of this industry too,” he claimed.
Sagar said that only capitalists were getting benefitted from industries. “It is because of their influence that they take most of this sector and poor people get nothing,” he said.
For extracting benefit from the industries, Sagar said, “Officers need to implement policies on ground. Do something concrete for basic units which will help the economy.”
However, he underscored the need for finances for locals.
In a written reply to PDP MLA, Abdul Majeed Padder, the industries minister, Chandra Prakash Ganga said that there are 19005 industrial units registered with district industries centres in Kashmir Valley alone.
“Only 1514 industrial units are organised and the rest come under unorganised sector,” the minister revealed.
Meanwhile, NC’s Ganderbal MLA, Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar, warned the government that if the government does not lift ban on extraction of stones for crushing “the local youth would be forced to pick up guns”.
Participating in the debate, Jabbar said that the government can take royalty from the people engaged with the mining and extraction of stones as usual but the “ban has rendered hundreds of unemployed youth jobless”.
He hoped the government would address the issue at the earliest “so that the youth connected with the mining and extraction of stones are not forced to take violent path”.