Post abrogation of Art 370:Kashmir Inc. begins counting biz losses

Srinagar, Dec 5:  Three months on, Kashmir Inc. has formally kicked off the process to assess the exact losses incurred by the business community due to the unrest post abrogation of Article 370.

Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), which has put the preliminary losses at $ 1.5 billion, has decided to collect exact  details of losses faced by different segments of the business community since August 5.

“We are receiving inputs about losses from every segment of the business community.  We will document these losses. The exercise is not just for getting compensation. We want to make this report public,” KCCI president Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad told The Kashmir Monitor.

Ahmad said they would be releasing the report in a week’s time. “We have started this process very recently. Our members are getting inputs from trading bodies across the valley,” he said 

KCCI president said the business sector in the state was “bleeding” after witnessing no activity since August 5. “The blockade of internet has hit businesses hard in Kashmir. With the result many units are at the verge of becoming Non-Performing Assets (NPAs). Similarly some of the businesses including handicrafts are completely shut due to the prevailing uncertainty,” he said.

Ahmad noted that the valley was witnessing losses of over Rs 120 crores on an average daily. “It will take years for Kashmir traders to recover from the setbacks,” he said.

Tourism and transport have faced the maximum brunt of the current situation. Tourism stakeholders said withdrawal of advisory has failed to make any impact as tour operators are unable to make fresh bookings due to internet blockade.

Official figures reveal that as many as 10,000 tourists visited the valley since the withdrawal of advisory by on October 1. Out of the tourists, 7,031 were domestic. Last year, around 1, 85,057 tourists visited the valley in the same period.

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