Drabu meets business, trade groups ahead of budget


JAMMU: Minister for Finance Haseeb A Drabu said on Friday that the Goods and Service Tax (GST) has provided an opportunity to clean up the system and very soon the desired results would be there for all to see.
The views were expressed by the minister during a series of pre-budget consultations with representations of various business and trade associations here.
Various suggestions were received from representatives of Press Club of Jammu, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Jammu (CCIJ), All J&K Transport Welfare Association Jammu, Federation of Industries Jammu, All Jammu Hotels & Lodges Association, Jammu Hotel Restaurant & Bar Association, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Chamber of Traders’ Federation Jammu.
The representatives of Press Club Jammu led by its President Ashwani Kumar sought the government’s support for setting up of High-Tech Media Centres in the state on the pattern of National Media Centre, New Delhi, to meet the growing demands of journalists and to facilitate them.
The PCI delegation also suggested that the government should take a holistic review of existing News Media Empanelment Policy, so that it is ensured that media organisations which adhere to labour laws and journalistic welfare are only empanelled for advertisement support. They also asked for incorporating various other important guidelines as listed in the National Media Empanelment and Accreditation Policy.
President, Chamber of Commerce & Industry Jammu, Rakesh Gupta called for converting lease agreements to freehold rights for permanent residents of J&K in all industrial estates. He also called for an Amnesty Scheme for one-time settlement of electricity bills, abolition of negative list for industry, allocation of funds for creation of new Industrial Estates, redress of the issue of delayed payments by various government departments, zero-tax category for cattle feed manufactured in the state, adoption of a Disability Act at par with the GoI’s, one-time Amnesty to waive off interest and penalties under GST and VAT regime up to July 7, 2017.
Drabu while addressing the stakeholders said that the government can only generate revenue if industry thrives. He said that there is a need to build our own sustainable investors who can come forward and take the lead.
The minister assured the participants that he would try to accommodate as many viable suggestions as possible in the budget for meeting the expectation of trade, commerce and industry-related people.

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