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CM has taken up issue of rising airfares with concerned: Altaf Bukhari

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SRINAGAR, : Minister for Finance, Labour and Employment, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari Friday said that the government shares the concern of the people regarding the skyrocketing of airfares during the peak tourism season.

Minister said this while interacting with the delegation of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) who called on the minister to discuss issues of Kashmir industry.

The delegation lead by President Javid Ahmad Tenga raised the issue of high air fares being charged by airlines during peak tourism season that proves a major impediment for tourist inflow in the Kashmir valley. They said Kashmir having no railway link, the air travel becomes the only preferred mode of transport and that high airfares proves detrimental to the tourism sector.

Bukhari said the government shares the concern with the chamber and that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has already raised the issue with the concerned agencies.

The delegation urged the minister to raise the issue of handicraft sector in upcoming GST council meeting to bring the GST on Handicrafts to zero level to give boost to this industry. They said the imposition of GST has dealt a hard blow to Handicraft industry as the sales and manufacturing has gone down and it warrants reversal and withdrawing of GST on handicrafts to help the trade in improving sales. They also urged government to help organizing exhibitions, buyer seller meets and financing liberally the artisans, manufacturers, exporters-cum-traders.

The delegation also appealed for an industrial package to the state of J&K on the pattern of north-eastern states. They appealed the minister to strongly push for a scheme on the pattern of the recently approved North –East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS) 2017.

The members also demanded inclusion of Guest Houses and Restaurants in the decision of special power tariff to Hotels   made during the last budget session as according to them the guest houses and restaurants are part of the hotel industry.

The Minister gave patient hearing to the visiting delegation and assured to examine all the highlighted issues on priority and their appropriate disposal. He said the government is keen to promote industrial sector in the state which is key to the economy of the state.

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