Kashmir Inc cries ‘criminal negligence’, demands probe

Forms SERF to deal with flood issues, wants insurance companies to release interim relief

Flood fury

Kashmir’s top business organizations Monday formed a united body—State Economic Reconstruction Forum (SERF)— to frame a joint strategy to deal with all flood related issues and reconstruction of the economy of Jammu and Kashmir that has suffered a loss of over Rs 100000 crore as per initial estimates.

The SERF asked the state government to constitute a high-level commission of inquiry to fix responsibility for the “criminal negligence and incapacity that resulted in loss of lives, property and business.” It also appealed to all insurance companies to release interim relief in tandem with the procedure adopted in the Uttrakhand disaster a year ago.
“The state government needs to advocate for issuance of a notification by the IRDA allowing for cleaning of properties in anticipation of surveys to prevent an epidemic, the threat of which is looming large,” a spokesman of the SERF said in a statement here.
The SERF has decided to have frequent meetings to deliberate on the issues of banking, taxation.
The business community of Kashmir, which met here to form the SERF and discuss the post-flood situation, expressed its immense grief on the devastation caused by the floods across the state and conveyed heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families who lost their kith and kin due to the floods.
In a meeting of the heads and office bearers of leading apex business organizations held in the office chambers of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) here Monday, the members expressed their sympathies with those who have been injured in these floods besides sympathizing with those who lost their property.
“The apex organizations place on record their appreciation to all individuals and organization involved in rescue and relief operations that helped save lives from the fury of floods. The unbridled efforts of the local youth in rescuing overwhelming majority of people stranded in the floods are worth mentioning in words of gold. The business community also hails the efforts of individuals, doctors and other committees associated with providing food, medicine and other relief to the affected people,” the spokesman said.  The business community assured the affected people that they shall remain by their side in this hour of grief and assured to put in joint efforts towards rebuilding the shattered economy and infrastructure.

HC notices to insurance companies

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Monday issued notices to all major insurance companies operating in the flood- affected state to file objections to a PIL seeking implementation of norms adopted in Uttarakhand for settling claims. A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice A M Magrey issued notices to the insurance companies to show cause why the formula implemented in calamity- hit areas like Uttarakhand should not be applied in flood- affected Jammu and Kashmir as well. The Bench directed the insurance agencies to appear before it in connection with the PIL filed by the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry seeking issuance of interim relief for flood- affected in Kashmir. It also issued notices to lawyers, representing various insurance companies, to remain present in order to ensure immediate relief to the business community. The court fixed September 24 as next date for hearing.

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