Minister for Finance Dr Haseeb A Drabu on Friday said the government is alive to the problems of people associated with trade, commerce and industry and the State Government is taking all the requisite measures to supplement the biz-friendly environment in the State to expand economic activity.
The spokesman said Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime has provided an opportunity to clean up the system and very soon the desired results would be seen on the ground. Minister said this during series of pre-budget consultations with the representations of various business & trade associations and other stakeholders, on Friday.
Various suggestions were received from representatives of Press Club of Jammu, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Jammu (CCIJ), All J&K Transport Welfare Association Jammu, Federation of Industries Jammu, All Jammu Hotels & Lodges Association, Jammu Hotel Restaurant & Bar Association, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Chamber of Trader Federation Jammu.
The representatives of Press Club Jammu led by its President Ashwani Kumar sought the Government’s support for setting up of a High-Tech Media Centres in the State on the pattern of National Media Centre, New Delhi to meet the growing demands of journalists and to facilitate them.
President, Chamber of Commerce & Industry Jammu Rakesh Gupta called for converting lease agreements to freehold rights for permanent residents of J&K in all industrial estates, Amnesty Scheme for onetime settlement of electricity bills, abolition of negative list for industry, allocation of funds for creation of new Industrial Estates especially for cluster development, redressal of the issue of delayed payments by various government departments, zero rated category for cattle feed manufactured in state, adoption of Disability Act at par with GoI, one-time Amnesty to waive off interest and penalties during GST and VAT regime upto July 7, 2017.
The Transport Welfare Association also presented various demands before the Finance Minister including withdrawal of increased fees/taxes/penalty imposed by centre/state govt from December 2016, exemption of payment of taxes, Amnesty Scheme for passenger tax, soft loan for replacement of old vehicles on low rate of interest and others.
Dr Drabu informed the Association that the State Financial Corporation is providing finance for transport sector and they can approach the SFC for financing. Responding to the issue of Adda fees being collected from trucks on national highways, the Minister asked the Commissioner Commercial Taxes to look into the issue.
The Finance Minister asked the Commissioner CT to take up the issue of ‘C” Form with his counterparts so that the issue is resolved.
Hotelier Associations pitched for expediting Mega Projects related to the tourism sector in Jammu besides, dedicated TV Channel for publicity of tourism sector. They also thanked the Minister for Amnesty Scheme announced by the state cabinet on Thursday.
PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry led by its President Vikrant Kuthiala also shared suggestions regarding rationalization of GST rates and requested for steps to be initiated to broaden the base of Tax Assesses. They urged for simplifying and streamlining the GST System including integration through digital technology.
Dr Drabu while addressing the stakeholders said that Government only can generate revenue if the industry survives and they generate income out of their established units. He further said that there is a need to build our own sustainable investors who can come forward and take the lead
The Minister assured the participants that he would try to accommodate as many viable suggestions as possible in the budget for meeting the expectation of trade, commerce and industry related people.