Ensuring protection of J&K’s special position is a achievement: Mehbooba

GJ Report
Jammu, Jul 9: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said that it was a great achievement of the State Government to ensure protection of the special position of the State while extending GST to Jammu and Kashmir.
“One of the major benefits of the GST has been that it brought the people of the two regions, particularly traders, on the same page during the hectic discussions before its implementation in the State,” Mufti said while interacting with members of several industrial and trade bodies here after inaugurating the modernised and upgraded Udyog Bhawan.
The Chief Minister said the State has a specific geographic position which is not so conducive to business activities and as such the people in general and the business community of the State in particular needed to be given some protections and guarantees.
Extending thanks to the Centre for conceding to the requests and sensitivities of the State Government on the issue and incorporating necessary safeguards in the Presidential Order on the GST, she said, ”the Government would continue to support local industry and extend all incentives and concessions to it in the SGST regime which were in vogue earlier.”
The Chief Minister assured the members of the industry that Government would continue to support them as it feels that local industry is an important source of employment for the youth and it plays a significant role in local economy.
Describing Pir Panchal region as a treasure of heritage and adventure tourism, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today stressed on developing spots, particularly heritage sites, along the historic Mughal Road to attract niche tourists from all across the country.
Chairing the Governing Body meetings of Poonch and Rajouri Tourism Development Authorities here, the Chief Minister asked for developing places like Peer Ki Gali, Noori Chamb, Chingus, Mughal Sarai, Bhimber Gali, old Poonch fort etc along the Mughal Road so that the heritage and history lovers besides tourists of high spending are attracted and the whole area gets exposed to the vast tourism market thereby giving a boost to local economy.
The Chief Minister directed setting up food courts, viewpoints, wayside facilities including rest rooms along the Mughal Road for converting the entire Pir Panchal region into a major tourist destination.
She directed the Education Department to take students to familiarisation visits to these areas in the region so that the future generation gets to know the State better.
Mufti directed exploring the viability possibility of a cable car project upto the shrine of Hazrat Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah in Rajouri and an artificial lake at Tata Pani.
The Chief Minister was informed that an Ecotourism Park at Patli Qilla, Kotranka is being developed by the district administration in convergence mode and it would be thrown open next year.
She was informed that Rs 5 crore are being expended on developing wayside facilities along the Mughal Road even as Base Camp for Trekkers is being set up at Noori Chamb.