Kashmir faced 22 months of lockdown in last 3 years

May 21, 2021 | Economic Suppression

In last three years, Kashmir’s economy has faced 22 months of lockdown leading to huge business losses as a result of which Kashmir’s economy is in dire-strait following an unprecedented situation arising out of Covid induced lockdown, the Kashmir business community said.

Over 30 business organisations, federations including premier business bodies of Kashmir today held a meeting to chalk out the future strategy for seeking revival package from the government.

Addressing a press conference which was attended by almost all the heads of trade and commerce bodies, President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Sheikh Ashiq said that the need for calling this meeting where almost all the organisation heads met is to formulate a joint strategy for revival of businesses.

“We have seen that if we approach the government individually our pleas are dumped into the dustbin. We will jointly work for the revival, survival of Kashmir’s business. We are facing an unprecedented situation, we are in the third lockdown. We will present a charter of demand which will be presented after deliberating with all segments of economy.”

“We have also followed orders of the government, life is important, but at the same time livelihood is also important,” he said, adding that there is a need to save both. 

President, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, Muhammad Yaseen said “our economy is in really bad shape, in last three years we have seen 22 months of lockdown, our four big festivals were celebrated under lockdown in this situation our businesses are bleeding losses. The recent announcement of some rehabilitation packages by the government of J&K is a mockery. Lieutenant Governor must take into consideration that it’s the business community who pay taxes, even in this situation we have paid over Rs 4600 crore.”

“We don’t want any cosmetic measures, last year Rs 1350 crore were given as compensation which is nothing as compared to losses suffered by the business community,” he said.

“Government should take a view of the situation to allow some sort of relaxation for the business community to operate, we are seeing that the government is allowing its staff to operate at 50 percent capacity, we too have employees whom we are not able to pay salaries.“

Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Hoteliers Club, Mushaq Ahmad Chaya said that the meeting which was held today was to deliberate on joint strategy. “Till we were doing our business, we never came before the government to help us. But the situation is different. Our economy is in bad shape, the tourism sector is ruined, the transport sector is making huge losses, the education sector is affected, there is not a single sector of the economy which is making money. In this situation, the government should consider the situation and come out with a bailout package.”

Author: Mukeet Akmali
Publication: Greater Kashmir