SRINAGAR: A delegation of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry met Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, District Development Commissioner, Srinagar. Various issues related to trade, commerce and industry were discussed. The issue of stranded residents within and outside the country was also discussed.
A spokesman of KCCI in a statement said Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad appreciated the role played by Shahid in his capacity as the Chairman of the District Disaster Management Authority during the previous two months. Sheikh Ashiq said that the team of Disaster Management Authority had been working round the clock to ensure that the various types of problems arising out of the COVID Pandemic were controlled and at the same time ensuring regular supply of essential commodities and medicines to the citizens. Quarantine infrastructure and travel facilitation for residents coming from outside were also top-notch for Srinagar district.
He stated that the lockdown had placed the business community under tremendous stress and persons associated with trade, commerce and industry were hit particularly bad. Indications were that the COVID-19 threat would take time to be fully eradicated and there were indications globally that cautious resumption of economic activities was of critical importance at this stage. Representatives of various economic sectors voiced the problems being faced by them.
The spokesman said that problems discussed included the problems faced by the industrial sector in restarting and operating their industries, movement to industrial areas situated in other districts like Lassipora movement of essential commodities and opening of shops dealing in essential commodities, finalisation of rates for hotels taken over for COVID-19 operations, sealing off of areas where activities like banks were allowed to operate thereby preventing customers from reaching the banks, cancellation of movement passes etc.
He said that DC Shahid Choudhary briefed the delegation about the measures taken by the administration from prioritizing issues to their redressal.
He stated that the present situation was unprecedented and stated that the administration was working with the people for managing this crisis. He appreciated the cooperation and patience shown by the public despite going through hardships and major disruption of normal life. He said that he was regularly monitoring the situation so that minimum inconvenience is caused to the public.
Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad stated that in view of the large number of issues involved which require regular redressal and to bridge any communication gaps between the administration and the business community, it would be practically more effective if a Core Working Group for Trade, Commerce and Industry was constituted under the Chairmanship of Shahid Choudhary with the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Shiekh Ashiq proposed that the group could have representatives from all concerned Government Departments like Industries, LAWDA, SMC, SDA, Health, Food Safety, PDD, Tourism, Handicrafts, Food and Supplies etc for immediate resolution of sector-specific issues.
Shahid Choudhary welcomed the suggestion and stated that the Core Working Group was indeed the need of the hour and would be constituted immediately.
The spokesman said Sheikh Ashiq thanked Shahid Choudhary for taking cognizance of the issues raised by the members of the delegation and assured of full cooperation by the business community in the fight against COVID-19.