Srinagar, Sep 16: Federation of Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) as an apex organisation of industrial enterprises Friday alarmed the Central Government that 85 percent of industrial units will close operations by next March in case the present PM package of 28400 cr is not extended to present existing industry and marketing support is not provided.
FCIK delegation led by its president ShahidKamili, Sr Vice President Ghulam Jeelani and Secretary-General Owais Jamie expressed the grave concerns of Kashmir based industry to Som Prakash Ji, Minister of State for Commerce during an interaction in Srinagar.
The delegation informed the Minister that 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.
FCIK laid stress upon the implementation of the present industrial policy 2016-26 in letter and spirit and also gave an opportunity to the hotel industry to file their incentive claims during the currency of 2012-2017 where they have missed because of flaws in guidelines.
"The Central Industrial Package which was launched in 2002 by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, mainly with an intent to bring severely affected industrial sector of Kashmir back on the rails besides motivating new investors to venture into the sector, neither brought any succour to the ailing existing enterprises nor attracted any substantial new investments. On the contrary, it 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 more than 95% of the total of 1120 Crore incentives disbursed under this policy were afforded to these enterprises," the Delegation informed.
The Central Industrial Scheme launched recently has generated a new hope among both existing and prospective entrepreneurs keeping in view the assurances that the new scheme aims to give fresh thrust to the industry and services-led development of Jammu and Kashmir with emphasis on job creation, skill development and sustainable development by attracting new investment and nurturing the existing ones, it added, "However, we observe some shortfalls in the scheme which may act as severe impediments to meet the target if these shortfalls were not addressed well in time. It would be fruitful to provide some more incentives under the scheme besides taking a slew of other measures to comfort the existing ailing industry and bring it back to the rails."
Regarding the marketing support, FCIK President Kamili said that more than 60% of the industrial units in Kashmir are engaged in the manufacture and processing of goods mainly required by the government departments and as per the policy 2016-26 industrial policy most of these goods had been identified for purchase through J&K Small Scale Development Corporation Ltd. (SICOP). "With a sudden change in the procurement policy early this year, the finance department, on the instructions of the central government, has directed all departments to make their procurements through the GeM portal under open competition. This has resulted in joblessness of the local units as almost all purchases by the departments for the past two years have been made from outside units. Kashmir based units operate in the most unconducive atmosphere with frequent road blockades, harsh climatic conditions and a number of other disadvantages which make it impossible for them to compete with their counterparts operating from most advanced states having zero inventory mechanism and cheap labour," he informed.
FCIK demanded that GOI exempt government departments in J&K from compulsory procurement through the GeM portal and instead allow these to continue their procurement of required goods from local enterprises through SICOP or any other suitable mechanism for a period of 10 years till the capacity building of enterprises is enhanced to make them capable of competing nationally.
The Delegation led by ShahidKamili also demanded a "Debt-reduction package" of 30% to all MSME accounts, NPAs or inching towards stress.