Kashmir, Jammu Chambers stress for promotion of ‘Intra-Regional Tourism Circuit’

Srinagar

The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday pressed for the promotion of “Intra-Regional Tourism Circuit”.

In a joint press statement, the business bodies impressed upon the Government to have a systematic and professionally managed promotional campaign to promote leisure, adventure, religious and border tourism as they said, they feel the real potential of this sector is “untapped”.

The business bodies requested the Jammu and Kashmir Government to urge the Union Government to take a policy decision to instruct all departments/ministries to hold Departmental Conferences in J&K so that people across mainland India know the ground realities, culinary heritage and themselves see the peaceful atmosphere and the rich culture of J&K.

“Although the Tourism Sector has been declared as an Industry in the year 1995 but the sector is being denied incentives as per the Industrial Policy by the Power Development Department,” the statement said.

The statement added that in response to the support extended by the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry to the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry on issues of common interest of Trade, Commerce and Industry of Jammu & Kashmir and in the interests of persons engaged in such activities, both Chambers have decided to unite in highlighting the focus areas and specific interventions required by the J&K and Union Governments.

“With regard to policy matters and issues wherein there are divergent views, it has been decided that both the Chambers – with respect to the sentiments and views of people of both the regions – will restrain themselves from raising such issues which may have a tendency to vitiate the environment, have political colours and are not directly related to Trade, Commerce and Industry,” the statement added.

The Chambers expressed grave concern and displeasure over the way the current Master Plans are being designed ignoring the ground realities and not taking into consideration the urgent requirement of changes to be made regarding Land Use, Provisions for new commercial spaces, Parking & Other Utilities. The Building Laws, Floor Area Ratios, Setbacks, Zoning Plans and  Permissible Building Heights are areas where both the Chambers have serious reservations.

“We urge the Government to fix the deadlines for completion of all developmental projects being undertaken throughout the State as the delay in completion translates into cost escalations and ultimately these projects turn into financial nightmares for all the stakeholders.”

The Chambers expressed concern at the losses to the economy being caused by the lack of accountability in the Public Sector Undertakings. “A conservative estimate shows the current liabilities of these PSU’s to be upwards of Rs.10,000 Crores. In addition, the locking up of resources in the shape of infrastructure, land, manpower and potential has a consolidated negative impact – primary and consequential – running into lakhs of crores. Other important sectors like Handicrafts, Tourism, Power, Manufacturing, LOC Trade, Horticulture and Agriculture suffer due to the lack of a clear and proactive policy. A coordinated effort in this direction would go a long way in pulling our economy out of it’s present state,” the statement added.

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