Kashmir Inc disappointed with Union Budget

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Srinagar: The business community in Kashmir Monday expressed disappointment over the union budget, saying it offered nothing for the state and its people.

“We are disappointed with the budget as there is nothing for the state.

We were expecting many things. We had requested Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for Kashmir-specific incentives, but our hopes have been dashed,” President of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) Mushtaq Wani said.

Wani said apart from expecting a tax holiday, the business community was hoping for some special incentives for the development of handicrafts sector in the state which was badly hit by floods over a year back.

“We were expecting special incentives for handicrafts because our export in handicrafts declined after the 2014 floods. We also wanted less rate of interest on bank loans and priority loans, but there was no such announcement,” he said.

He said they had also demanded an IIT and an IIM for Kashmir region, but the budget is a disappointment for the state, particularly for Kashmir.

Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), an amalgam of various trade bodies, said the budget has dejected the people of Kashmir.

We were expecting a tax holiday for at least five years for Jammu and Kashmir especially for the Valley which saw maximum devastation after the September 2014 floods.

“On the occasion of the last budget, they told us that they had not got the loss assessment, but this time they had all the details. So, we are dejected as there is nothing in the budget for us,” chairman KEA Yaseen Khan said.

He said the state was also expecting a package to attract tourists and a package for exporting horticulture produce.

Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), meanwhile, termed the 10-15 per cent hike in Excise Duty on tobacco products as “meagre” and said the budget proposals would benefit the tobacco industry.

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