Katra July 29: Jammu and Kashmir Congress president G A Mir along with the vice president and former minister Raman Bhalla today visited Katra and discussed the issues faced by different sections of the civil society.
Former minister Jugal Kishore Sharma highlighted the issues of the area as he said that the hotel, trade, travel, dry fruits industry has suffered immense loss as the pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi, Shiv Khori, Naaina Devi, Baba Dhansar are all closed. He demanded relief to the daily earners especially Pithu Walla etc. and also relief in EMI, electricity and tour travel industry.
Jugal also sought fulfilment of the announcement and sanctions of cancer institute and extension of the package to cover the other suffering sections linked to the pilgrim tourism and pilgrim economy. He also demanded taking up rope way project from Ransu to Shiv Khori.
Congress sought the attention of the authorities towards the issues of Pony, Pithu Wallas and other daily earners besides those associated and dependent for their livelihood on the Yatra and are without any jobs. They are facing great hardships and economic distress, as suddenly they have lost their source of bread and butter due to the stoppage of pilgrimage. The government should take care of these sections during the period and till the things get on the track again,theh demanded.
Mir and Bhalla while interacting with the local leaders and representatives sympathized with the genuine issues of different sections and said that the ongoing situation on account of COVID-19 has added to the woes of the people who were already facing brunt of the economic policies of the Modi govt. leading to the worst ever economic slowdown in the country.
Mir said that the people of entire J&K are passing through the worst phase of the disruption in the economic activity during the period following the unilateral decisions of the Centre including the disbanding and downgrading of the historical state into UT. The resultant abnormal situation led to the further disruption of the economic activities in all spheres causing huge loss to the trade and business in Jammu and Kashmir.
The overall taxations policies of the BJP government continues unabated affecting all sorts of individuals and sections especially the business communities and people. The ill advised demonetisation followed by a disoriented hasty implementation of GST caused huge losses to the business community and all other sections leading to the fall of economic parameters and record unemployment and retrenchments.
Bhalla said that the Modi govt. continues to impose other exorbitant taxes on the people in various forms including 9 percent on the purchase of vehicles, petrol and diesel despite being the cheapest in the international market as compared to the last two decades and imposing of toll plazas in Jammu region.
Three toll plazas have been installed on the route of Mata Vaishno Devi from Lakhanpur to Katra.
Earlier during BJP regime here, the helicopter service to the Vaishno Devi and other pilgrimage were taxed. This shows the mind-set of BJP and they only be fooled the people on religious and emotional issues for vote bank politics but do the opposite when in power.
Demanding roll back of toll plazas and other taxes which discourage the pilgrimage and cause huge burden to the people of all sections Bhalla lashed out BJP blaming it of playing with the religious and political sentiments of the people of Jammu region. Twice the holy Amarnath Yatra was totally disrupted during BJP run govt. Last it was disrupted mid-way by misleading the people and this year too it has been totally cancelled at eleventh hour.
Former minister Jugal Kishore Sharma, JK Congress Seva Dal Chief Rajesh Sadhotra as well other prominent leaders and Councillors including Surinder Sharma advocate, Ravinder Singh, Madan Dogra, Abhishek parikshit, Mohan Singh, Surinder pandit, Angrez Singh and others were present on the occasion.
Earlier the leaders visited the residence of Rakesh Wazir prominent hotelier President Trade and commerce wing of the Jk Congress and offered condolences on the sad demise of his father earlier last week.