Srinagar: Over 30 business and trade organizations in Kashmir urged central government and Reserve Bank of India to announce a comprehensive and strong economic package for revival of businesses in the region as they were suffering and on the verge of closure due to lockdown for ten months now.
Several business organizations in Kashmir joined hands under the umbrella of Joint Organizations of Industries and Trade, here in Srinagar lamenting that they have been kept out of Rs 21 lakh crore economic package, union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced recently to reopen the economy in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The businessmen in Kashmir were unable to fulfill the criteria to avail the benefits of Rs 21 lakh crore package, due to crisis situation here for past few decades.
The business community claimed that the ten months of shutdown since August 5, 2019, when special status was revoked and J&K was downgraded into two Union Territories, has crippled the economy in Kashmir and may force many of the businesses to close down.
“Our businesses are suffering for last ten months. We have apprised Home Minister, Finance Minister and MoS in the PMO, who heard us patiently in March, but nothing has moved ahead since then as COVID-19 changed priorities of the government,” president of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Sheikh Aashiq told reporters here.
The KCCI came out with a report in December 2019 claiming that Kashmir reported a business loss of around Rs 18000 crores in five months due to lockdown and internet shutdown, since August 5 and thousands of locals unemployed as well.
Aashiq claimed that the businesses in Kashmir were undergoing a crisis situation since 1990 and there were around 3000 days of shutdown in last three decades, which is over eight year.