KCCI presents key economic concerns to Chief Secy

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, June 10: A delegation from the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), led by President Javid Ahmad Tenga, met with Chief Secretary Atal Dulloo today to discuss issues affecting various sectors of economic activity in Kashmir.
On the occasion, a memorandum was submitted, which sought measures in multiple sectors and the escalation of some matters to the Central Government.
KCCI called for the establishment of a Pre-export Pashmina Testing Lab in Srinagar, where over 95% of Pashmina products are manufactured.
“This lab should be accredited with NABL and the Wildlife Department, and its certification should be made mandatory for customs clearance to avoid seizure and delays.”
The memorandum also requested a reduction in the GST rate on handmade Kashmir Pashmina Shawls from 12% to 5%, and the introduction of a separate HSN Code for Pashmina and other value-added shawls.
In the tourism sector, KCCI demanded the renewal of tourist registration licenses for hotels, houseboats, travel agencies, and restaurants.
It has been suggested that renewals be made independent of NOCs from other departments, which should enforce their laws separately.
KCCI also urged the development of new tourist destinations on a fast-track basis, considering carrying capacity, environmental impact assessments, and climate change effects.
Additionally, the memorandum sought permission for hotels to undertake renovation and reconstruction to attract more high-end tourists from both the country and abroad.
Various issues faced by the heritage houseboat sector were also raised, with suggestions for improvement.
The memorandum called for an OTS Scheme to address the problems faced by borrowers, emphasizing that NPA account holders are in distress and willing to resolve their accounts through a favorable OTS Scheme without conditions.
“It also demanded adequate reservation for startups in new industrial estates.”
For the horticulture sector, KCCI recommended a fast-tracked survey to identify the need for more CA stores in other districts to ensure balanced development.
The trade body has suggested strategies for diversifying almond and walnut production, including promoting late bloomer varieties like Chandler, and regulating private apple plantations for quality control to prevent disease spread.
KCCI has also called for the implementation of power amnesty for commercial consumers, similar to the amnesty granted to domestic consumers, as previously announced by the government.
Regarding the Srinagar Smart City Project, KCCI has noted that delays have caused substantial inconvenience to traders and the public due to poor road conditions, urging timely completion of these projects to alleviate difficulties.