SERF members to hit streets against ‘official apathy’
The State Economic Reconstruction Forum—an amalgam of various trade, business and commerce bodies—would hold its first anti-government roadshow here Saturday to protest the “government callous attitude towards the trade community, post floods.”
The roadshow, a SERF member said, would be held in LalChowk—the city’s commercial hub.
He said the members have unanimously agreed to hold the anti-government march to “expose the government’s failure in undertaking relief and rehabilitation operations after the floods.”
“All members have been strictly advised not to raise any objectionable slogans during the roadshow,” he said.
Pertinently, the SERF has already accused the state and central government of failing to mitigate the sufferings of business community caused due to the recent floods.
A SERF spokesman recently termed the government’s Relief-cum-Rehabilitation Package as a “crude joke” with the suffering people of the State.
The SERF comprises of bodies including Kashmir Traders Federation (KTF), Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCC&I), Federation Chamber of Industries (FCIK), Kashmir Traders & Manufacturers Federation (KTMF-Y), Kashmir Traders & Manufacturers Federation (KTMF-S), Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA-Y), Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA-S), Chamber of Commerce & Industries Kashmir, Kashmir Hotel And Restaurants Associations (KHARA), Kashmir Hotels & Restaurants Owners Association (KHAROF), Hoteliers Club, Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK), Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK), Association of Kashmir Tour Operators (AKTO), Urban Travel Agents Association (UTAA), Information & Communications Technology Association (ICTA), Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Alliance (JKTA) and House Boat Owners Association (HBOA).
THE SERF APPEAL
A SERF statement this evening read that having regard to the magnitude of the disaster, the SERF has, in the larger interest of the general people, been tolerant in giving the State and Central Governments adequate time to respond. “Six weeks have passed since the floods and there seems to be no lessening in the torment and anguish of the common man. The winter months and snowfall will only add to the burden. The State Government has routinely announced the Durbar Move. The public is suffering from post traumatic stress and patience is at an end,” it read.
The statement read the focus of both the State and the Central Government seems to on issues like elections. “Politics has taken a front seat even in the relief and rehabilitation efforts thereby causing further damage. The entire recovery policy seems to have gone out of focus,” it read, adding, “In this scenario, the banks have failed to deliver. They have not only failed to deliver but have attempted to profit from the miseries of the people. The RBI guidelines emphasizing on immediate relief to the people have been deliberately ignored and delayed. Interest for the month of September, 2014 has been charged from all accounts. The banks have encouraged people to avail overdrafts and adhoc loans in order to earn extra interest. The banks have adopted a unilateral approach and failed to take stakeholders on board.”
The SERF said the Central Government has delayed the intervention of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. “The loss assessment has been reflective of the incompetence of the Governments. Kashmiris living all over the world have expressed their desire to help. Donations in the shape of cash and equipment have been collected. But this effort too is being thwarted by imposing politically colored conditions,” it said.
The amalgam said to express “our anguish on the aforesaid issues, the SERF has organized a mass meeting of its members on Saturday, the 18th of October, 2014 at 11 am. The public is requested to kindly participate and support the roadshow.”