Rs 45000 crore: cost of three years of Kashmir’s lockdowns

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Kashmir’s economy has borne the brunt of three back-to-back lockdowns since the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s limited autonomy in August 2019, resulting in the loss of a whopping 45000 crore rupees.

The month-long lockdown from 30 April to 30 May this year has registered a loss of 5000 crore rupees alone, reveal figures worked out by the trade bodies of Valley.

According to the Kashmir Chamber and Commerce Industries president Sheikh Ashiq Hussain, the Kashmir economy suffered a loss of around 17,878 crore rupees in the first four months of restrictions and shut down in the valley post-August 2019.

This was followed by a nationwide lockdown triggered by the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020 that cost Kashmir economy 27,000 crore rupees.

As per trade bodies, the recent Corona lockdown has further taken the already crippling economy to silent offshores with people associated with trade and the economy estimating a loss of around 5000 crore rupees from 30 April to 30 May this year.

Chairman Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), Muhammad Yaseen Khan said that around 50 percent of the traders won’t be able to continue the business as they have taken loans from financial institutions and they aren’t able to repay the installments.

“For the last 22 months, we have been hardly able to pay interests. To cope-up with the set premiums have become very difficult, almost impossible, which has turned the performing assets into Non-Performing Assets (NPA),” Khan said.

He said that if trade and business have to be rescued from the uncertainty, infusion of bailout packages is highly inevitable.

Figures available with the Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) suggest that the Kashmir economy suffered a loss of around 27,000 crore rupees during the nationwide Corona lockdown imposed in March 2020.

While talking about the partial relaxation in the ongoing Corona lockdown, Khan said: “People from trade, business and transport owe money to banks and suppliers, and the economy has been on crippling end, which makes the survival very difficult. The immediate remedy would be the assistance from the government, but given the ongoing pandemic situation, we want to wait till the Covid situation stabilizes and we will come up with our demands and submit the same to the government.”

“Even if the trade and business are allowed to work on all weekdays, we are on the receiving end, unless there is no capital infusion in the market,” he said. (KNO)

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