Srinagar, October 27 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the clampdown and communications blackout imposed by India on 5th August has led to losses to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore in three months, a trade body reported.

Sheikh Ashiq, President of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told media in Srinagar that it was difficult to assess the nature of losses as the situation in the valley is not normal, yet.

“The running business losses for Kashmir have crossed Rs. 10,000 crore and all sectors have been severely hit. It has been nearly three months now and yet the people are not doing business because of the prevailing situation. There has been some activity in the recent weeks, but the feedback that we are getting is that the business is dull,” he added.

“In today’s times, the basic need of any business is access to internet. We have conveyed it to the administration that the businesses will suffer in Kashmir and the economy will weaken. This will have huge consequences in the longer run,” Ashiq said.

Citing various sectors, he said the Information Technology is an upcoming sector and there are companies which were providing services in US, Europe, whose business has been affected by the suspension of internet facilities.

“If we take the handicraft sector, people associated with the trade receive orders in July-August and have to deliver the products around Christmas and New Year. When they can implement these orders, only then would they be served. There is no connectivity, so there were no orders resulting in loss of jobs to over 50,000 artisans and weavers,” he said.

The KCCI president blamed the Indian government responsible for the losses and demanded remedial steps to mitigate the sufferings of the traders.

“This is not about losses in business only. We will be facing technical issues like GST, online returns, whether you make business or not, we will face them and other issues like that. We are not falling under certain guidelines because we are missing them. So there should be a system for these things,” he added.

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