KL NEWS NETWORK
Concerned over the “growing harassment of Kashmiri traders by the Commercial Tax department”, a delegation of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation led by its President Mohammed Yasin Khan Sunday met Finance Minister Dr Haseeb A Drabu here asking him to “reign in the ranks of his department.”
Khan, flanked by district presidents from Baramulla, Kulgam , Islamabad, Shopian and Ganderbal informed Dr Drabu that Commercial Tax department officials were behaving like some “bullish policemen” who simply want to “take the poor people for a ride”.
“The Commercial Tax department officials are even not behaving like a normal policeman but someone who wants to take poor people for a ride. At a time when Kashmiri businessmen are struggling to come out of the 2014 destruction, such officials are sabotaging every development which can take Kashmir towards normalcy in business,” Khan said.
“Thousands of traders not only lost their shops and other business establishments if any to floods but that all the documents pertaining to business were lost in the deluge,” he said, “amid so much of chaos instead of supporting the traders, they are being harassed which seems to be a part of some deep rooted conspiracy to keep business in Kashmir suppressed.”
The KTMF statement further quoted Khan as having said, “the import of goods into the Kashmir from other states has become cumbersome as the Commercial Tax sleuths put the traders to undue inconvenience at Lakhanpur and Lower Munda.” “It was high time for the government to give up the step motherly treatment meted with the traders and ensure that they are made to work towards resumption of their business which was devastated by floods.”
Dr Drabu was informed that the “business in Kashmir has gone down by 80% since floods and that government should make all efforts including grant of interest free loans and extension in repayment of the already granted loans in favour of the flood affected traders”.
“Dr Drabu assured the KTMF delegation that the government would soon constitute an advisory committee to look into the matter and that traders would be given representation in the said committee. He assured that all out demands will be met,” the KTMF statement said.