Save local industry before bringing in outsiders: FCIK to Govt

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Jan 5: The Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) today urged the Government to save the local industry of J&K before wooing the investors from outside to venture into the sector.
In its 2nd Executive Council meeting, the FCIK members expressed their shock and anguish over the dilapidated status of local industry.
“While the entire Government looked busy in paving the way for accommodating invisible investors from outside in the sector, they completely ignore that the investment of thousands of crores locked up in local enterprises was in distress and only a few steps away from extinction,” FCIK said.
The members expressed dismay over the unheeding attitude of authorities towards mitigation of the problems of enterprises which have triggered to newer complexities after back to back twin lockdowns since August 2019.
“No adequate steps were being taken to boost demand for local products which was much required to restart the smooth operations of units,” they said.
FCIK said that the government has inadvertently restricted its departments from procuring their required goods from the local industry.
“While passing on the instructions to indenting departments for procurement of their requirements through GEM portal, the government forgot to realise that hardly any local enterprise was registered with the portal,” it said.
The members observed that as a result of a change in the current procurement policy, “the departments have procured industrial goods worth hundreds of crores from the outside enterprises leaving the locals jobless.”
The FCIK members also conveyed their concern over the unprecedented delay in the release of due payments by various departments in favour of supplying units.
Regarding package for the revival of businesses in J&K announced by the Lt. Governor in September, the members observed that the said package had not served any useful purpose to the entrepreneurs.
“‚Ķbecause the money released by the government had directly gone to the banks towards part of accumulated interest on the loans that too in respect of standard accounts of enterprises only.”
The President FCIK Shahid Kamili recalled that a joint business delegation of different business organisations while interacting with a group of central ministers in March 2020 had been assured for compensating the business losses of local enterprises perpetuated due to lockdowns post-August 2019 besides providing them requisite relief to restart their functioning.
He hoped that the UT government might have taken up the issue with the central government for the incorporation of desired relief measures in the ensuing budget.