Declare Kashmir a free economic zone: Traders


The representatives of trade and industry has sought VAT exemption on handicrafts, handmade walnut wood carved furniture, made-ups of chain stitch and raw pashmina wool.

Speaking at a pre-budget meeting with Finance Minister, Abdul Rahim Rather, the traders said Kashmir should be declared “a free economic zone.” The traders demanded budgetary intervention for promotion of MSME sector, handlooms, food processing, tourism and horticulture sectors on modern lines, establishment of marketing HAATS under SGSY and food streets, creating lank bank for development of Industrial Estates at District levels, solid waste management, construction of mini power projects under PPP mode and setting up of a single Toll plaza at Lower Munda for general trade.

They also demanded creation of VAT return Filing Facilitators on the pattern of Income Tax Facilitators, VAT rebate on items needed for consumption in hotel and restaurant sector, exemption of service tax on room rent, implementation of 30 per cent Capital Outright Investment Subsidy to the existing tourism infrastructure and treating tourism industry at par with small scale industries, an official statement said.

The KCCI, KHAROF, KHARA, KTMF, FCIK and Transporters federation were respectively led by their presidents Abdul Hamid Panjabi, Faiz Bakshi, Showkat Chowdhary, Muhammad Yasin Khan, Zahoor Ahmad and Abdul Rashid Tichoo, Ghazi Abdul Majid and F. A. Batqoo.