‘To achieve political stability, government has to start a dialogue with all stakeholders’
‘To better handicrafts and tourism is my priority’
‘No compromise on special status and roll back of GST’
Srinagar: The newly elected President of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry Javeed Ahmed Tenga said that to stabilize the business of the valley, which is in doldrums as of now, political stability is needed.
“Political stability is needed for traders’ stability. In fact for everything to be back to normal, political matters have to be resolved. We will surely convey this message to the Chief Minister when we meet her formally,” Tenga told Free Press Kashmir.
He further added, “How will political stability be achieved? It’s simple. Hold dialogue with all the political stakeholders in the state. You have to take everyone on board and talk. As long as that is not done, it is very difficult to say that anything will be fixed.”
Tenga said that as a businessman he can only suggest means which will bring stability. It is the government who will have to take action.
“As a businessman I cannot dictate political terms but at least I can suggest and my only suggestion is that the government should initiate a dialogue with every stakeholder in the valley for the betterment of the entire society,” Tenga stressed.
The new President, who is a handicrafts exporter, has his priority list ready. On top is handicrafts and tourism, which according to him are related.
“We are a two day old body but right from day one we have started meetings over the issue. The first thing we are planning is an international exhibition in which we hope our participation would be maximum. Also, an international fair is going to be held in Delhi. We are trying to set up as many as 40 stalls there,” informed Tenga, whose family has been in the handicrafts business for 90 odd years.
He also believes that another sector which demands utmost attention is tourism and handicrafts is dependent on that.
“Apart from handicrafts, tourism also needs dire attention. We all know what a bad season we had. In our recent meet with the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, she has also assured full support in this regard. The whole thing is connected. If we have good tourism, handicrafts sector will be benefitted automatically,” Tenga said.
The new KCCI chief also maintained that their stance regarding political matters like the special status of the state and their demand for the roll back of the GST will not be altered.
“I am not a newcomer. I was a part of the previous body as the Joint Secretary General. Regarding our political issues, there is no policy change. In the case of 35-A, there will be no compromise. Also in the matter of GST, we have been demanding a roll back since its inception as it has affected business, especially the handicraft sector,” Tenga said.
However, he added that his first priority as President will be to take care of the handicrafts sector and tourism.
“The first thing as President I want to do is to better the handicrafts and tourism sector. The entire trade which is on its knees has to be brought back on its feet. That is another very important priority.