SRINAGAR: A delegation of members of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry led by Javed Ahmed Tenga, former President, Friday held a detailed meeting with Mohammed Aijaz, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar and Chairman of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).
The meeting was for following up on issues regarding trade, commerce and industry raised in the interaction held with the Advisor to the LG, Baseer A Khan on 19th of May, 2021.
Javed Ahmed Tenga thanked BaseerA Khan for his support to the business community and Aijaz Ahmed for taking the time to interact with the business community and understand the issues and problems being faced by them. He provided suggestions for the weaker sections of persons connected with trade and commerce who required urgent assistance. The suggestions were well received.
The delegation comprised of Wahid Malik, President Kashmir Hotels and Restaurants Owners Federation, Abrar Ahmed Khan, Chairman J&K Economic Confederation, Batamaloo Traders Association and All Traders Transporters Co-ordination Committee, Fayaz Punjabi, President, Joint Coordination Committee of City Centre (JCCCC), Irfan Jeelani, Spokesperson JCCCC and Ashaq Hussain Shangloo (JCCCC), Afaq Ahmad, representing Pharma and FMCG Distribution sector, Nasir Hamid Khan representing General Trade.
Wahid Malik stated that the Restaurants and Café sector was facing a lot of difficulties due to the continuous lockdown. He requested Aijaz Ahmad to consider allowing takeaway and home delivery activities for the Restaurants and Café sector. He assured the authorities that COVID appropriate behaviour would be followed by the stakeholders. Aijaz Ahmed stated that the Government was well aware of the issue and directions in this regard would be issued in a short time. Wahid Malik further gave several suggestions with regard to Covid tests for tourists and vaccination for employees connected with the Hotel and Restaurant sector. Aijaz Ahmed stated that the Government was considering carrying out random tests in addition to fine tuning the RT-PCR test procedures so that minimum disruption is caused to tourists and Covid related protocols are also followed.
Abrar Ahmad Khan raised the issue of wholesalers/distributors facing problems in supplying goods to dealers. He requested the authorities to intervene for smooth movement of supply of essential goods. He further stated that cash assistance of Rs 5,000/- per month for the drivers/cleaners belonging to the transport sector for the period of Covid lockdown needed to be considered. He also requested that as was done last year, the Government may consider providing Food Kits for the vulnerable sections.
Afaq Sarwar stated that the pharma/FMCG distributors were also facing problems in delivery of goods and although Movement Passes had been assured but they had yet to be issued. Aijaz Ahmed issued directions for issuance of Movement Passes to the distributors for smooth delivery of the essential commodities and medicines.
Fayaz Ahmad Punjabi and Irfan Jeelani stated that the business community was fully behind the administration in the fight to eradicate the Covid pandemic. They stated that as stakeholders they were fully conscious of their responsibilities and would fully cooperate in this monumental and unprecedented fight. They also requested Aijaz Ahmad to give priority for vaccinating the owners and employees of business areas. Aijaz Ahmad appreciated the cooperation shown by the stakeholders and public and also issued on the spot instructions to the Chief Medical Officer Srinagar for preparing a systematic roster in consultation with the stakeholders for vaccination. Ashaq Hussain Shangloo stated that the administration had allowed business establishments of open for two hours in Jammu and aeration of stocks. He requested that a similar facility may also be provided to the shopkeepers here so that the stocks are not damaged. With regard to the Memorandum submitted by JCCC to the Advisor, they stated that the operationalisation of the parking area being developed near Kothibagh Police Station also needed to be completed.
Nasir Hamid Khan invited the attention of authorities towards the semi-essential category of businesses like tyre shops/puncture repairs which apart from being a low-intensity activity with regard to footfalls and also belonged to vulnerable sections of the economy. He further stated that since educational institutions were closed and students were mostly studying online, opening of limited stationary shops was also required. He thanked the Advisor and the Chairman DDMA for allowing home deliveries for departmental stores/supermarkets. He drew the attention of Aijaz Ahmed towards certain logistic issues which this important sector was facing and would impede their operations. Aijaz Ahmed stated that the suggestions would be considered and necessary directions issued after consultations with health experts and reviewing the situation on ground.