STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: The delegation of Tractor-Trolley Union J&K led by its Chairman Mohd Arif called on former Chief Minister of J&K Ghulam Nabi Azad in Jammu apprised him difficulties they are going through in wake of restrictions on mining activities.The Union also submitted memorandum of demands which reads as We plead for immediate interim relief to trolley, dumper and tipper owners whose sustenance has been hit by delay in the allotment of minor mineral blocks in Jammu and urge your good-self to take a compassionate view in view of the prevailing COVID pandemic. The stakeholders are virtually at the brink of starvation due to joblessness and the added trauma for them is liquidation of loans which they have availed for purchase of tippers and trollies.The hapless owners and the allied workers, who have already braved the brunt of joblessness for a pretty long time due to lockdown in the wake of coronavirus, can’t be abandoned by snatching from them the only source of sustenance.We hope the Government would appreciate the hardships of the owners and workers and help them out of the precarious situation they are undergoing over the months.The sad part of the owners of mineral carriage vehicles is that while most of them were suffering from joblessness, they are penalised by way of interest on EMIs on account of the purchase of vehicles. They seek interest waiver till the time they are again on job. The process for allotment of mining blocks should be expedited, saying there should be no problem in allowing legal mining, within parameters of the set norms, not in the interest of the stakeholders but also for smooth construction business.Non availability of extraction material especially sand has hugely impacted the construction sector that had shown signs of recovery after easing of Standard Operating Procedure.The mining sector holds the key to construction business which includes some key schemes and projects undertaken by the administration under various programmes for development in rural and urban areas. Once the important component of sand etc is scarcely available, the desired objectives of development would remain a far cry.While manual lifting of sand and gravel (Bajri) was permissible under the Mining Act, the Govt functionaries were exceeding their mandate by imposing a blanket ban on extortion of such materials.And while the poor tractor and trolley operators were restrained from lifting the said materials, the big contractors and influential land mafia was openly extracting minerals from river beds by using JCB machines, earth excavators and lifting and transporting such material by defying the law as well as the orders of the Government. The local administration and officials of Geology and Mining Department of conniving with big contractors while disallowing the poor tractor trolley owners of their legitimate claims.Meanwhile, J&K Oil Manufacturers and Packers Association president Raj Kumar Goel met with former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and apprised him about the problems being faced by the edible oil traders in J&K.He said that the oil industry in Jammu is running in the negative due to the wrong policies of the Jammu and Kashmir government.No package, no discount, no facility is being given to the traders here, due to which these people are not able to do business properly, Goel said.Earlier, he said, traders were given tax exemption on import of raw material, but now they are also being taxed due to which the edible oil industry is getting adversely affected.He asked Azad to take up the issue with the Central Government and help the edible oil industry of Jammu to come out of the crisis.After listening to Goyal, Azad assured that his issues would be taken up with the Central Government to solve their problems.
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