By Firdous Hassan
Srinagar: A few days ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, the markets in Kashmir Valley are noticing the slump that, as per the traders, has set in due to the implementation of Goods and Services Act (GST) and economic meltdown post 2016.
“People don’t shop now like they used to do some years before. The GST broke the backbone of our business sector, as both imports and exports have fallen immensely. We have inputs from our members across the valley that their businesses have not seen much improvement ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr,” said President Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), Javed Tenga, told The Kashmir Monitor.
Tenga said his handicraft business fell by “more than 70 per cent” in the last two years.
“I used to pay about Rs 3 crore to my artisans on Eid. But this time I only have Rs 30 lakh, implying that my artisans too will have to suffer.”
Jan Muhammad Kaul, a member of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industries Kashmir, said the people currently have “no purchasing power” despite the decline in the prices of goods.
“We see that prices of vegetables and fruits have declined, which means that their demand is less. People actually have lost their purchasing power, as the businessmen are suffering and the employees are yet to get their salaries,” he said.
Kaul said the people were mostly purchasing food items.
Mirwaiz thanks UN for report, says it was long due
Srinagar, Jun 14: Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday welcomed the first ever UN report on rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, saying the inquiry into the rights violations in the region was long overdue.
Taking to micro-blogging website, Twitter, Mirwaiz wrote: “Welcome the first ever UN report on HR violations in #Kashmir recognition of the grave HR violations by the state taking place in Kashmir for past 30 years in particular and calling for inquiry into them was long overdue.”
“UN has a moral obligation towards the people of Kashmir. People of Kashmir Thank the UN especially the bold efforts of its HR commissioner Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussain for its support to right of self-determination and in preparing the report and making it public hope an enquirer commission is setup and announced soon by UN,” tweeted Mirwaiz.
Mirwaiz said the exhaustive and detailed report by the world body reflects the ground situation of Kashmir and details how the people here are denied all freedoms and justice and as a consequence suffer tremendously.
He said the demand for a Commission of Inquiry into these violations is not only the need of the hour but long overdue as UN and the world body owes it to the subjugated people of Kashmir.
“UN has a moral obligation to the people of J&K as the promises made to us by it have so far not been fulfilled,” he said.
Mirwaiz on behalf of the people of Kashmir thanked the UN body especially the High Commissioner for his earnest attempt in bringing the situation of human rights violations in Kashmir by the state in the global public domain besides asking for immediate end to the grave human right violations taking place here and for a meaningful resolution of the Kashmir dispute which is inclusive of the people of Kashmir.
While expressing his dismay over the reaction of Ministry of External Affairs of India which has described the report as prejudiced and rejected it, Mirwaiz said it is highly unfortunate that GOI instead of taking the report of the world body seriously and making amends in its repressive policy in Kashmir has chosen to attack the report.
Two militants, soldier killed in Bandipora encounter
Srinagar, Jun 14: Two militants and an army soldier were killed in an ongoing operation launched by the government forces in a forest area in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Thursday.
Srinagar-based defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said that two militants and a solider were killed in the operation going on Raynar forest area of the district since past six days.
He said the bodies of the slain militants were recovered along with as many AK rifles and other arms and ammunition.
Their identities and group affiliation are being ascertained, said an official.
He said an army soldier sustained serious bullet wounds during the fresh gunfight early morning. “The injured soldier was immediately evacuated to military hospital where he succumbed,” said the official.
The operation was launched last week after militants attacked an army patrolling party in Raynar forests adjacent to Panar area. Two soldiers had sustained during a brief gunfight on the weekend.
A massive search operation was soon launched in the area by the army, which entered sixth day today.
A group of over a dozen militants reportedly infiltrated near Bagtore area of Gurez and reached Chandaji. The group, according to reports, travelled to Panar through Bonkoot and upon reaching Raynar they came in contact with the troopers, who had laid an ambush.
Reports said that two militants are still hiding in the forest area while the rest have managed to escape. “Operation is still going on to trace out the other hiding militants,” said an army statement.
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