Trade bodies flay withholding flood relief pakage

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“BJP-led Central govt deliberately sitting over package”  :Saqib Hussain &Yuaish Qureshi

SRINAGAR: Trade bodies have flayed the Centre for withholding relief package meant for the September 2014 flood victims especially for the trader fraternity. 

They allege even after a year has elapsed since the devastating floods came submerging their livelihood, the government has shamefully been apathetic towards the plight of Kashmiris.

“The BJP leadership is deliberately withholding the relief as their policies are Hindu-centric and anti-Kashmir which is largely a Muslim-dominated province,” Muhammad Yasin, Chairman, Kashmir Economic Alliance, said. 

Taking a dig at the BJP-led Central government, he said Muslims are deliberately been victimised by the anti-Muslim approach of the officials. “Clearly, a discrimination by the ruling BJP at the centre is being meted out through fake promises,” he said. 

While speaking to Kashmir Observer, Yasin claimed that the 44,000 crore package announced by the previous NC-led government was annulled by the Centre.

“The PDP-BJP alliance is not fighting for the relief package. The government has failed to alleviate the suffering of the masses that were terribly affected by the last year’s deluge,” Yasin said.

Yasin, who is also the President, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation said that he headed a delegation that met Prime Minister, Narendra Modi wherein he promised a package after the devastation report was discussed with him. “Modi assured us of the package and promised he would do everything possible but he did not live up to his promise,” he said.

Yasin said the government provided only a little amount money to small scale traders like tea vendors. “The business community lost almost 35,000crores due to the devastating floods. We are not sure about how much money government provided to traders but some traders were given a meagre sum of 15,000 or 30,000 rupees,” he said. “We are in constant touch with the state government for the past ten months but to no avail.”

Hailing the J&K bank, he said that bank was the only financial institution to come forward and provide us with an amount of 5000 crore as relief amount. “Leaving the government aside not a single NGO came forward to help us except J&K bank,” Yasin added.

“We saw only fake promises and no substantial follow-up by the government,” Din Mohammad Mattoo, President, Traders Association Lal Chowk said. “We were only made to fill up certain forms and not even a single penny has been paid to the shopkeepers. Only a few whose businesses were insured received the insurance money.”

In September 2014, Kashmir witnessed floods of devastating nature that resulted in loss of lives and damage to properties worth several hundred crores. Modi led central government had assured a comprehensive relief package for the affected.

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