The Biz Reporter
Srinagar, Apr 16: The Federation of Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) has urged the government to recognize the plight of MSMEs in Kashmir and take immediate recourse to live up to its own commitments as sponsors of this most important sector before it is too late.
This was impressed upon by the Presidents of organised industrial estates of Kashmir valley in a meeting held with the Advisory Council of FCIK under the chairmanship of President FCIK. The meeting, amoung others, was participated by the Presidents of industrial estates of Lassipora, Khunmoh, Rangreth, Zainakote, Sanat Nagar, BAMK, Zakura, Silk Park Zakura, Ganderbal, Shalteng and Sopore.
While delivering a severe critique of the government’s response to the plight of industrial sector particularly the MSMES after the devastation these faced because of long spells of forced business interventions in past over three decades particularly after 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2019-21, they accused the government of being blind and unconcerned about the crises. They said that it was worrying to believe that the government particularly the industries department had no clear and accurate idea of the state of MSMEs in Jammu and Kashmir particularly in the Kashmir valley where the failure of the government to step in has resulted in closure of a substantial number of units besides working on meager capacities.
The participants blamed the industries department, instead of helping the units out of crises, has been responsible for creating more miseries for them through their dictatorial approach and unilateral orders. All the wings of the department in the hierarchy lacked cohesion amoung themselves which has led to their bad performance and in turn affected the working of MSMEs, observed the members adding that the appointment of inexperienced officials had only added to the stress and tension of entrepreneurs. The members regretted that most of the DICs in the valley after 2019 were manned by time gap arrangements without full-fledged General Managers.
Refuting the claims of industrial growth by the government, the participants observed that the government’s data probably did not include the ground conditions and realities of MSMEs which have been left to fend for themselves with continued onslaughts by different departments and institutions.
Reacting over the change in the industrial policies, the members observed that such changes were being made without taking the stakeholders into confidence. Citing the example of land allotment policy, the members expressed their dismay over the unilateral decision of the industries department to fleece the units in organised sector with charging of part of land premium with every change in their constitution or line of activity. The change was made despite the request from FCIK and other associations to discuss the issue with stakeholders before taking any decision on the issue.
The members lambasted J&K Bank for initiating extreme action against the MSME defaulters with publicly tarnishing the image and credibility of entrepreneurs. This kind of harassment has only happened after the change in the management of the bank which is completely ignorant of the circumstances in which the MSMEs have been working in the valley. While the enterprises were forced to observe more than 2500 days’ of business interruptions, the bank didn’t waive of the interest against then even for a day notwithstanding the fact that during these shut downs the bank also didn’t provide any service to the customers. The members regretted that the government was watching the humiliation of entrepreneurs as mute spectators.
The members also raised the issues of marketing, delayed payments, pollution control regulations and others which if not addressed timely could lead to the closure of more units in coming times.
The FCIK authorities assured the Presidents of organised sector to take up their grievances with relevant quarters for redressal. They also agreed to make all the relevant issues public in a series of press releases. The meeting of the Presidents of organised sector would be held periodically but more frequently to take stock of the situation.