Trade bodies call for bandh on Saturday if taxes not rolled back

Jammu and Kashmir

June 1: Various trade bodies today urged the business establishments to down their shutters on Saturday, June 4 to protest against the budget proposals in case government failed to roll back the taxes.

A Joint meeting of The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCC&I), Kashmir Economic Alliance(KEA), Kashmir Traders & Manufacturers Federation(KTMF), Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) was held today to discuss the 2016-17 State budget presented by the Finance Minister.

The budget has been found to be more on rhetoric and less on content, more-so, in the background of the devastation caused by the 2014 floods which caused unprecedented damage to people at large in general and trade, commerce and Industry in particular. The Finance minister has shown mercilessness in so far as the following business activities and common interest is concerned:

1. Increase from 5% to 14 ½ % in Schedule D–I  as against  the demand  for tax  holiday for next 5 years. Since most of the products under the schedule like ready made garments, mobile phones, frozen food items etc. are consumer goods it will affect adversely both the business and the people in general.

2. Entertainment duty of Rs.50/- per connection  on satellite and cable TV  which  will directly affect the common man.

3. No exemption of tax, for Walnut wood carving products has been given to help promote the handicraft.

4. Long demanded tax exemption has not been given on handicraft  made-up products like  bags cushion covers etc.

5. Increase of 5% tax on ATF will impact already irrationally applied  air fares to Jammu- Srinagar  air routes and will in turn affect badly the local and tourist travel.

6. Long pending demand for Artisan Credit Card  Scheme  sought  to be brought at par with the Kisan Credit  Card  Scheme has been ignored  in the budget which is causing liquidity crunch for the artisans who are otherwise contributing in  big way to this export business of the state and foreign exchange earning of the country.

7. Nothing specific from the state has been provided to compensate/provide relief to the flood victims, business or common man leaving them to suffer indefinitely.

8. Removal of negative list of items being manufactured by local industries has not been addressed.

9. Waiver of interest /surcharge from power dues has not been taken in to consideration.

10.Waiver of penalties in the matter of defaults in commercial tax too has not been given any consideration.

The trade bodies decided and urged the business establishments to down their shutters on Saturday the 4th of June 2016 and close the establishments in protest against the budget proposals in case it fails to roll back the taxes as pointed above and address the concerns.

Mushtaq Ahmad Wani, President, The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCC&I), Chairman, Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), Mohammad Yasin Khan, President, Kashmir Traders & Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), Mohammad Ashraf Mir, President, Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK).

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