SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) leader Jagmohan Singh Raina on Sunday lamented Centre’s COVID-19 economic stimulus package for excluding the worst-hit transport sector in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a statement issued here, Raina observed that there is strong resentment in transport fraternity on the ground for being discerned by the central government from its economic impetus. “Majority of the public transporters in Jammu and Kashmir are unable to sustain the immediate financial pressures incremented by the prevailing lockdown,” the JKAP leader remarked.

He said the transport fraternity in J&K especially the owners of Tata Sumos, Auto rickshaws, Matadors, Busses and Trucks have suffered immense losses because of the law and order situation in the past, and now with the COVID-19 lockdown since March this year, its vast majority is not in a position to repay their vehicle loans borrowed from different banks.

“In light of the significant economic fallout of the novel Coronavirus the government of J&K UT should come forward for the rescue of this important sector by proposing a comprehensive and special economic package and get it sanctioned by the government of India,” Raina opined.

The JKAP leader observed that the transport sector holds critical importance as it connects various markets, suppliers and customers dotted across the regions. “The complete lockdown of other businesses and supporting services has also aggravated the situation. Due to the complete shutdown of public transport facilities, the people associated with this sector especially drivers and conductors’ community have reached the verge of starvation. The government must come forward to help them out,” he added.

Raina said the government of J&K is already seized of several issues pertaining to budgetary support for the transport sector and a serious follow up for liberal funding from the central government can mitigate the sufferings of this fraternity.

“The issues of transporters like a replacement of old buses, mini Buses, penalty on renewal of transport companies licenses, reduction of one-time tax on all commercial, public service vehicles and allotment of parking places for mini, medium buses and auto-rickshaws is already in the knowledge of the government in J&K. I humbly call upon the Lieutenant Governor G.C Murmu to use his good office for purposeful and concrete action in this regard,” the JKAP leader demanded.


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