Jammu: Demanding immediate restoration of mobile internet services in Kashmir, former minister Public Works and MLA Amirakadal Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari has said people are not in a position to use their debit or credit cards due to defunct Point of Sale machines in shopping and other business establishments including petrol pumps across the Kashmir Valley.
Bukhari urged the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to revoke the ban on mobile internet services and order for its immediate restoration. “While the cash dispensation at petrol pumps is a good decision but the same will hardly benefit people in Kashmir due to suspension of internet services. There is hardly one in 100 petrol pumps in the Valley that has access to broadband Internet services so use of credit or debit cards for most of the people is useless in absence of internet facility at these filling stations in Kashmir,” he remarked.
He said that the people in Kashmir are not in a position to avail online facilities because of defunct Point of Sale (POS) machines in shopping and other business establishments for the last over four months. “Revocation of ban on mobile internet services must have skipped the mind of Honb’le Chief Minister or otherwise she has always been at the forefront in taking welfare measures for citizens of Kashmir. I hope the Honb’le Chief Minister will take a decision in this regard very soon,” Bukhari opined.
The former minister said that the suspension of mobile internet service has added miseries to the people of Kashmir as they are unable to make any online transactions or use debit and credit cards for paying school fee, electricity bills or do shopping.
“While the efforts are on to ease up prevailing cash crunch across the country, advisories for financial transactions through the use of debit or credit cards in Kashmir seems bizarre in absence of mobile internet facility,” Bukhari said in a statement issued here.
He said that many families are supposed to pay grocery bills and they are not in a position to do so in absence of internet services. “While people in rest of the country presently benefit by making online transactions and use debit and credit cards to pay bills at shopping malls or petrol pumps, people in Kashmir are caught between devil and deep see situation.”
Bukhari said it is disheartening that the mobile internet facility continues to be suspended while there is a much improvement in the law and order situation in Kashmir. “After scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations by the central government mobile internet services would have eased up the cash crunch situation. But it is sad that people who have almost run out of cash are still facing tough times due to continuous ban on internet.”
In such a situation, he remarked, the traders also cannot be blamed for refusing to accept financial transactions through Point of Sale machines from their customers. (CNS)