Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

‘Difficult Atmosphere’: Industrial Body FCIK Demands Kashmir be Declared Zone B due to Disadvantages

Anees Zargar |
The Kashmir-based industrial body said it has taken up the matter of disparity among zones at various high levels of the government.
‘Difficult Atmosphere’: Industrial Body FCIK Demands Kashmir be Declared Zone B due to Disadvantages

Representational Image. Image Courtesy: Rawpixel

Srinagar: Kashmir-based group Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) has urged authorities to declare the valley under Zone B of the industrial land zonation system in view of difficulties faced by the regional industrial units.

The government has formulated a committee to look into the zonation of Kashmir Divisions according to the order DI&C/Dev/522/2022/2302-13, dated October 31, 2022. The geographical areas of Kashmir valley have been divided into Zone A and Zone B for the purpose of land value as per Industrial land allotment policy and to provide incentives as per state and central industrial policies.

In a statement issued after a meeting on Monday, the industrial body said that it has taken up the matter of disparity among zones at various high levels, including esteemed members of visiting Parliamentary delegation, Home Minister of India, MoS Finance GOI, MoS Commerce GOI, Lt Governor of J&K. They have also taken it up at administrative levels that includes Joint Secretary DPIIT, Chief Secretary UT of J&K and others.

FCIK Secretary General Ovees Qadir Jamie said Kashmir-based units operate in “most unconducive atmosphere with frequent road blockades, harsh climatic conditions and number of other disadvantages which make it impossible for them to compete with their counterparts operating in most advanced states having zero inventory mechanism and cheap labour.”

“The industrial policies and schemes launched by the central and state governments, particularly during the past three decades, have miserably failed both in mitigating the growing problems of existing enterprises or attracting prospective investments in the sector,” he said.

“Zone A is considered as having a higher land value but is offered lower incentives as compared to Zone B, which is considered as having a lesser land value but is offered higher incentives,” FCIK Secretary Daniyal Qureshi told NewsClick.

Important incentives have been excluded from the current industrial policy of 2021. These incentives acted as cost equalising measures and stimuli such as price preference, purchase preference, cost of tender document, earnest money and security deposit, freight subsidy, income tax holiday and tax remission as in the previous VAT regime.

“The earlier Industrial policies had led to inequalities in industrial development across 22 districts of the erstwhile state as whatever new investment as an outcome to this package was made only in 3 districts of Jammu leaving 19 other districts high and dry and accordingly majority of incentives were disbursed in 3 districts of Jammu,” Jamie argued.

FCIK has observed shortfalls in the policies that may impede meeting the target if these were not addressed in time; one of the issues is declaring the Kashmir Valley in Zone A and B.

The perpetual huge business losses caused by various interruptions have not only hampered the growth of enterprises but also forced a large number to close down their operations, according to the industrial body.

“The industry was not compensated for any such losses, it was forced to pay bank interest, idle wages and salaries, statutory taxes and other establishment expenses,” the body said.

FCIK also demanded that the government should keep the constraints that the industrial community in Kashmir valley is facing while declaring the zones, and without disparity, the whole valley should be declared as Zone B.

FCIK’s demands were also echoed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami. He said that the entire Kashmir valley needs to be declared as Zone B, given what he termed as the “precarious state” of the sector.

“The industrial growth in Kashmir has been bogged down by unprecedented uncertainties over the years. Categorisation of industrial land into two different zones is bound to stymie the growth of the industrial sector,” Tarigami said.

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram