SRINAGAR: Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has criticised allocation of contracts to non-locals and described the policy regarding allotment of mining and extraction contracts as alarming and against public interest.
“The bidding for mineral blocks in Kashmir clearly indicates that local stakeholders were sidelined. Use of financial muscle power has totally wiped them out in Srinagar and reports from other districts are equally discouraging,” said KCCI secretary general Sheikh Gowher Ali.
In Srinagar alone, non-local contractors have bagged all 10 sand blocks against the bidding amount of Rs 5.08 crore. Ali said the first claim on local resources rightfully belongs to the natives of Kashmir and the J&K government is duty bound to protect the legitimate entitlement of the locals.
“A non-local syndicate appears to have altogether muscled out local stakeholders and is now indulging in aggressive and unfair trade practices,” Ali said, adding that KCCI calls for urgent review of mining and extraction policy to address local interests and incorporate protective clauses for stakeholders and consumers.