In occupied Kashmir, an amalgam of 30 trade bodies in the Valley, today, said that in last over two decades the territory has witnessed 3000 days of lockdown.
The traders said that this deteriorated the situation of business community in the territory which was struggling to survive amid the prevalent situation. However, the traders also stated that the special package of Rs 20,000 Crore announced by the Indian government for the people excluding the business community of occupied Kashmir.
Over 30 trade bodies including Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Kashmir Traders and Manufacturing Federation (KTMF), Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), PHD Chamber of Commerce (Kashmir Chapter), Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation (KHAROF), Jammu and Kashmir Hotelier Club (JKHC), Jammu and Kashmir Association of Hajj and Umrah Companies (JKAHUC), Kashmir Industrial Revival and Development Forum (KIRDF), Kashmir Joint Coordination Committee of Chemists and Druggists, All Kashmir Transport Welfare Association, Jammu and Kashmir Fruit and Vegetable Processing and Integrated Cold Chain Association (JKPICCA), Kashmir House Boat Owners Association (HBOA), Beopar Mandal (Maharaj Gunj), Jammu and Kashmir Private School Coordination Committee, Shopian Fruit Mandi Association, Artisans Rehabilitation Forum, Kashmir Economic Form, Shehr-e-Khass Traders Coordination Committee, Jammu and Kashmir Hotels and Restaurant Association (JKHARA), Tourist Taxi Stand Federation, Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK), Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Alliance (JKTA), Pilgrim and Leisure Tour Operators Forum (PILTOF), Tourist Trade Interest Guild (TTIG), Urban Travel Agents Association (UTAA), Kashmir Association of Retailers (KAR), Restaurant and Café Association of Kashmir (RAK), Association of Kashmir Tour Operators (AKTO), Kashmir Carpet Association, Kashmir Youth Entrepreneurs Federation (KYEF) and Kashmir Artists Welfare Foundation (KAWF) addressed the joint presser today in Srinagar.
Sheikh Ashiq, President of KCCI, said that the traders who had suffered in past several decades in Kashmir demand measures for the revival of their respective businesses. “The only aim to hold a joint presser today is to raise our voice for the business fraternity across the Valley who have suffered huge losses due to the time to time situation witnessed here,” he said.
“In particular, our businesses are suffering from last ten months and we have never come out of the lockdown,” he said. He added that although, they had met the Indian Home Minister and Finance Minister and MoS PMO regarding the losses faced by the traders and brought into their notice the challenges being faced by the business community in Kashmir and were expecting a good result from the meetings but the COIVD situation that occurred following the meetings spoiled it all.
Sheikh Ashiq said that the situation of business had got further deteriorated after the COVID pandemic in occupied Kashmir. “Our businesses friends in India have raised voice over the losses suffered by them. The government later announced a package for the people who got affected. We have been excluded from the package as the package was announced for those only who have suffered losses in last two months. But, the businessmen in Kashmir are facing the losses from last ten months,” he added.
Ashiq further stated that the students have got badly affected in Jammu and Kashmir, saying that it is the only place where students are being deprived of the 4G internet services, which is a vital tool at present to get the education. “The restoration of 4G internet services seems a far off dream. Our students are suffering,” he said.
Iqbal Ahmad, Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) Vice-Chairman said that the Valley had witnessed 3000 days of lockdown in over two decades. “Whenever the valley witnessed lockdown, the business fraternity got badly affected,” he said.—KMS