Release traders of Kashmir to restore confidence of people: CTF

Representatives of Chamber of Traders Federation during a press conference in Jammu on Wednesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Representatives of Chamber of Traders Federation during a press conference in Jammu on Wednesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Nov 20: Maintaining that traders can play a big role to fill up the vacuum created in the Jammu and Kashmir, the Chamber of Traders Federation (CTF) today demanded that innocent traders who are not involved in any activity be released immediately to restore the confidence of the people.

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The demand was made by the president of the Federation, Neeraj Anand at a press conference here today. Anand, who was flanked by the office bearers of his organization said to ease the present situation in Kashmir Traders Coordination Committee be framed and those who are the real stake holders be inducted in it.
Supporting dialogue to make situation conducive in the Valley, he said if the traders and leaders will be kept behind the bars with whom the dialogue will be held. Asserting that his organization does not support anti nationals, Anand said those involved in anti national activities should be dealt under law of the land but at the same time the innocent traders should not be harassed.
He said the traders and businessmen who opened the shops in Kashmir valley are facing harassment through the hands of anti nationals who force them to close their business establishments and the Government should provide proper security to them.
Anand said that traders in both the regions of Jammu and Kashmir have suffered a great loss since August 5 decision regarding abrogation of Article 370 and converting the State into two Union Territories (UTs) as both the regions are interdependent on each other. While Jammu supplies the goods to Kashmir valley, the traders from Kashmir also supply fruits like apple and walnut to this part where from it is supplied to other parts of country.
He said since August 5 Horticulture Industry suffered a heavy loss and both Kashmir growers as well as traders of Jammu were hit a lot. He also demanded constitution of a Committee to assess the losses and making recommendations to Government for compensating the same. He made a strong appeal to Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu in this regard.
Expressing grave concern over the problems faced by traders, contractors and suppliers in the UT, he said the payments of suppliers and contractors have not been made for a pretty long time. He appealed the Lieutenant Governor to frame a Committee to look into the same. Earlier during Governor’s rule releasing of withheld payments was made on priority basis but this time no such decision was taken with the result these people are facing problems.
Expressing his concern over snapping of Internet Services in J&K since August 5, he said that net plays an important role in thriving the trade and commerce in present world and the traders and industry suffered a lot due to its ban in the erstwhile State of J&K. He demanded that the ban be lifted in those areas where there is no problem and only banned in the areas where there is apprehension of rumor mongers may misuse it.
Strongly advocating for removal of Lakhanpur Toll Plaza, he urged the Narendra Modi Government to fulfill his commitment of one nation one tax formula. He said Lakhanpur Toll Plaza is a breeding place of corruption in J&K and it should be winded up immediately. He said except some industrialists who have benefit in continuance of Toll Plaza and payment of Toll Tax entire business community in the UT is against its existence.
He said the Federation is receiving a pressing demand from its counterparts in Kashmir for release of traders and Government should look into this demand.