No respite for lockdown-hit Valley traders

No respite for lockdown-hit Valley traders

Despite protests from traders, shops in the city centre and other main markets here will continue to remain shut for the week.

Though a meeting between the business leaders and Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Shahid Chowdhary on reopening of shops was held on Wednesday, no date was announced for reopening of business establishments.

Shops in the Lal Chowk and adjoining areas, besides other prime markets of the summer capital continue to remain shut since March 19 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As per the Kashmir Trade Alliance (KTA) – a business body – estimates, Covid-19 lockdown has already dented the Valley’s economy by over Rs 8,416 crore.

Earlier, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries had pegged losses at Rs 17, 878 crore in the first 120 days post-August 5, 2019 when abrogation of Article 370 sent normal life in the Valley out of gear.

Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation president M Yaseen Khan said in a meeting with the officials at the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, it was decided that a plan of action would be formulated in a few days.

Khan said they were hopeful of a decision in their favour even as the shopkeepers had given an undertaking that they would stick to the standard operating procedures, like maintaining social distancing norms and no parking of cars outside the shops.

A trade leader, who was also a part of another meeting with the Deputy Commissioner, said there was a likelihood that markets would open from next Monday.


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