CCI resents new J&K Excise Policy; seeks rollback

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Warns Govt not to force traders to come on roads to get their demands fulfilled

STATE TIMES NEWS

JAMMU: Jammu Chamber of Commerce & Industry (JCCI) on Saturday expressed great resentment against the new Excise Policy announced by the Jammu and Kashmir UT administration.
Responding to the new policy, the JCCI president Arun Gupta, while addressing a press conference, asserted that the new policy prima facie appears to be aimed at eliminating the local businesspersons from the trade and benefiting only the capitalists, that too from outside the Union Territory of J&K.
He said that it is quite unfortunate that before finalising the Excise Policy 2021-22, the apprehensions of the wine traders have not been cleared despite repeated protests by them in the City of Temples.
Gupta regretted that despite taking up the matter with the Lt Governor regarding New Excise Policy which is directly affecting the livelihood of existing wine traders of J&K, unfortunately nothing has been done in this regard.
“Jammu Chamber has also took up the issue of New Excise Policy with the MOS PMO Dr Jitendra Singh at New Delhi but all in vain,” he said.
While elaborating further, the Chamber President said that through e-auction individual will be granted license at only one location thus paving the way for the persons having muscle and money power to bid in name of proxies. This vindicates the apprehension of the wine traders that e-auction will bring big players from outside J&K while eliminating the locals.
Gupta said the basic structure of grant and renewal of JKEL-2 license having been changed in new policy for JKEL-2 trade through e-auction mode is not only in violation of Excise Act and Rules but also in total disregard to the judgment of J&K High Court. Gupta also raised serious concern over the hardships which the business community is confronting especially with regard to ban on extraction of minor minerals from river beds and subsequently the sale of the same. He said that such kind of blanket ban on the construction material is not in the interest of any one in the UT.
He said that banning mining on the pretext of unauthorized extraction is not at all justified as the administration is equipped with the law enforcing agencies including police which can check and contain the illegal mining but stopping the entire business is not the right way to tackle with the problem.
The Jammu Chamber also expressed resentment against the district administration for harassing the small traders by carrying out unnecessary encroachment drives without issuing any prior notices. He urged the district administration to desist from such activities which is not in favour of trading community.
The CCI President demanded either immediate rollback of the new excise policy or else the same be amended by the government to address the genuine concerns of the local wine traders whose families are dependent on this trade besides these traders are providing employment to substantial number of people.
The Chamber will try its best to save the interests of existing liquor vendors of the UT as they are forced to become scapegoats, he said and warned the government not to force the trading community to come on roads to get their demands fulfilled.