Srinagar:  Preliminary assessment conducted by Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) has pegged the business losses at over Rs 40,000 crore, while five lakh people have lost jobs from August 5 last year to date.

KCCI is currently assessing the losses incurred by various sectors in the valley post-August 5, 2019, when government abrogated article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. The valley witnessed two back-to-back lockdowns since August 5 last year.

“Our estimates suggest that business, education, service, and transport sectors have witnessed losses of over Rs 40,000 crores from August 2019 to August 2020. Moreover, five lakh youth have been rendered jobless,” President KCCI, Sheikh Ashiq told The Kashmir Monitor.

Tourism and handicrafts suffered the major brunt among all the sectors in the valley. “Hotels are empty for a year now. Similarly, our handicrafts exports fell by more than 50 percent in the last one year leading to job losses,” Ahmad said.

President KCCI said they are currently assessing the losses incurred by different sectors in the last one year.

“A report will be made public very soon. It will be submitted to the Centre so that the government announces a financial package to compensate the business fraternity,” he said.

Last December KCCI released a `Preliminary Economic Loss Report’ which put the financial losses at 17800 crores in the first 120 days of lockdown post abrogation of article 370.

Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) has also put the losses due to two month Covid-19 shutdown at Rs 8416.2 crore.

Meanwhile, KCCI has established a help desk for the unemployed youth of Kashmir. “We are trying to help youth find jobs. The chamber will discharge its duties and try to help the unemployed youth in the best possible way,” Ahmad said.

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Presently Senior reporter at The Kashmir Monitor with an experience of nine years in reporting business, crime, defense, politics and environment.Have also contributed to reputed media organizations including First Post, India Spend, Forbes India

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