SRINAGAR: In a bid to facilitate industrial activity, businesses and trade by preparing more convenient budget for 2019-2020, Advisor to Governor, Kewal Kumar Sharma today held a pre-budget consultation with the stake holders of Kashmir division.
Principal Secretary Finance, Navin Kumar Choudhary; Commissioner Sales Taxes, P K Bhat; Excise Commissioner Talat Parvez Rohella, Additional Commissioner, Sales Taxes, Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, Deputy commissioners of various units of Commercial Taxes and Excise departments and others were present during the consultations.
On the occasion, Advisor Sharma met with the various forums representing different sectors including Industrialists, hoteliers, manufacturers, traders and others and listened to their suggestions in order to come up with the more convenient budget.
Various suggestions were received from representatives of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Association, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Kashmir Brick Manufacturers Association, Kashmir Hotels and Restaurants Association, Kashmir Hotels and Restaurants Owners Federation, Kashmir Economic Forum, Bread Manufacturers Association of Kashmir, Cold Storage Association and Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir.
Besides, the representatives from Education Sector, tourism, Agriculture, Horticulture, tour and travel operators, Industrial Estates Zakura, Industrial Association Rangreth and others also put forward their suggestions while requesting Advisor Sharma to incorporate them in the upcoming budget.
The representatives of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Association requested for formulation of budget for few power projects which will be owned by the state, saying, this will help in further adding to the financial stability of the state to a greater extent. They also called for inclusion of Petrol and Diesel under GST. The representatives urged the Advisor to relieve the handicrafts from the domain of GST.
These representatives also brought to the notice of Advisor that various promises with regards to the GST have been made to the people but are yet to be fulfilled adding to the increasing concern to the business fraternity. They also demanded that there should be proper awareness with regard to the process and issues under GST.
On the occasion, Advisor Sharma directed the concerned officials to setup the training centers in every district where the businessmen can get themselves acquainted with the knowhow of the GST. In these centers training will be given about all the basics of GST including how to file a return, he added.
The demand for constitution of the GST Advisory board in the State also came up during the discussion.
The representatives from the Private schools demanded that the government should identify the place in Kashmir which can be later developed as the education hub. Around 2000 crore rupees is spent by the Kashmiri students to study in various parts of the world outside Kashmir, the representative said.
The issue of not implementing of Amnesty Schemes for industrialists and hoteliers including waiving off of interest, penalties and charging of power tariff at par with industrial rates for industrialists and hoteliers announced in the State Budget 2018-19 was also discussed by various representatives.
Transporters said that the transport sector is in very bad shape and demanded special focus on its betterment.
While calling tourism one of the huge employment generating sectors, the representatives from tourism sector demanded establishment of an agency to look into the wrong and negative perception given through media about Kashmir.
Advisor Sharma gave a patient hearing to the suggestions by various stake holders and assured the delegations that their submissions will be given a thorough deliberation for inclusion in the State Budget to achieve better results on ground.