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Kashmir Chamber prays for alternative to shutdowns

Srinagar, Dec 6: Citing stress on the valley’s business sector, Kashmir Inc on Thursday appealed the separatists to look for an alternative to shutdown strategy.

Addressing a press conference here, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), an amalgam of trader and business bodies in the valley, said the economy of the valley was getting affected due to the prevailing situation.

“We are not getting a favourable atmosphere to do business normally due to the prevailing situation. Human rights violations, innocent killings, and pellet injuries are of major concern to us. Even 18-month-old’s are not spared here,” Vice-President KCCI, Dr A M Mir, said.

“We also appeal Hurriyat to think of an alternative to shutdowns. We will follow their protest calls regularly, as all of us are ready to give sacrifices for the solution of Kashmir issue.”

The KCCI held the press conference over the detention of their members who were protesting against the violation of human rights in Kashmir.

Mir said the traders would hold a protest march from KCCI office to Press Enclave on Saturday to “express their concerns”.

“We express our concern over yesterday’s arrest. Traders were arrested for holding a peaceful protest in a democratic way,” he said.

The KCCI Vice-President said the business in the valley has taken a back seat primarily due to the “human rights violations in the region”.

“We need a congenial atmosphere here for business, and it solely depends on the authorities. Our economy is getting affected as all sectors witness slump,” he said.

He urged the governments of India and Pakistan to initiate a dialogue for resolving the decades-old Kashmir issue permanently. “Talks should be there and both these countries should come on to the table and solve the issue permanently,” he said.

Mir said many additional factors were also responsible for the current slump in the businesses. “Not just GST, but many other factors make us vulnerable to losses. We have to pay huge transportation costs due to the geography of the state,” he said.

“The GST, which is common to all the states, should not have been implemented as it dented various businesses severely.” He said they have formed a committee to count losses in every sector for the year.