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Framed after years of delay, JK's trade policy awaits implementation
7/17/2018 11:18:28 PM
Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, July 17: Jammu and Kashmir's maiden trade policy, which was formed after an inordinate delay, is yet to implemented on the ground.
It was in 2013 when then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced that JK's first ever trade policy will be framed in three months following its implementation. However, it took several years for the government to frame the policy and no steps have been taken for its implementation.
"In Jammu and Kashmir, framing a policy takes years but is not then implemented. When will it be implemented? Nobody knows," an official said.
He said that draft of state's first ever Trade Policy, 2018-2028, has been framed by the Industries and Commerce Department. In the draft, it has been suggested that government shall "objectively examine the current utility of all state laws applicable to trade and commerce with a view to integrate them into fewer enactments".
The government in the draft policy has been asked to convert certain "so-called unfriendly provisions into a self-regulatory mechanism and provide flexibility to the trade in areas where a rigid control is no more necessary or feasible".
"Government shall examine various issues and explore the possibilities, in consultation with the stakeholders, to make the governance part smoother while implementing the central and state laws," the draft reads.
"However no measures have been taken so far for its implementation. Unless government at the top does not take measures nothing will change," the official said.
The government, according to the draft, has also been suggested to persuade the Centre to provide senior officials, Joint Chief Controller of imports and exports, Regional Director of Reserve Bank of India, NABARD, and Registrar of Companies to JK. These officials, according to the draft, should have executive powers to grant all day to day "approvals, sanctions, permits, and endorsements" to the local businesses and industry, both at Jammu and Srinagar.
About development of new markets, the Industries and Commerce Department has asked the government to examine "liberalized conversion" of the identified residential pockets into the commercial zones to stop haphazard conversion of individual residential houses into business premises.
It says that adequate provisions for commercial activities including, kiosks and central markets shall be kept in the new housing colonies.
It has suggested that Labour Department shall associate the local trading community in decision making about timings and choosing a day of the week of markets.
It said that Housing and Urban Development Department shall expedite action on its plans for development of parking lots in all major towns particularly in the cities of Srinagar and Jammu.
An official of the Industries and Commerce Department said that Trade Policy has been framed in view of demand from stakeholders. "It is aimed to ensure local traders effective participation at the local and international level and promote state's business," the official added.
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