Valley unrest jolts Jammu business community
Traders In Winter Capital Suffer Rs 500 Cr Loss
Srinagar, July 21: Prevailing unrest in Kashmir has severely hit the Jammu business community, with the traders in the winter capital suffering estimated losses to the tune of around Rs 500 crores due to the month-long bandh in the Valley.
According to Jammu Federation of Industries, the trade in the winter capital has almost come to a grinding halt as the demand for various consumable and non-consumable goods from Kashmir has declined sharply due to the prevailing unrest. “The traders must have suffered a direct loss of Rs 500 crores due to the continued bandh in the Kashmir Valley.
Against one thousand odd trucks with different commodities, both essential and otherwise, which move daily from Jammu to Kashmir, only few stray trucks have gone to the Valley during the past one month. When the eatables, petroleum products, hosiery, industrial goods etc. didn’t reach the Valley, how can we do business here,” said the JFI president, Davinder Mahjan.
According to Mahajan, sixty percent of the goods manufactured in Jammu are consumed in the Valley and with the Valley shut there is no demand for any product, except the essential commodities. “So we are suffering big losses because of the strife in the Valley,” he said.
Mahajan said in the absence remittances from the Valley, the Jammu traders have stopped manufacturing products meant for supply to Kashmir. “Right now we have the commodities in store which would last for just four to five days. In the absence of any returns from the Valley, we have stopped manufacturing products till the crisis there subsides. We just can’t afford a prolonged strike in Kashmir as our business stakes there are very high,” he said and added that the industrial units in Jammu have to pay power bills, bank interest and labour costs.
“So the strike in the Valley obviously kills our business,” Mahajan said, blaming the government for the prolonging the crisis.
He said the government had failed to reach out to the people and end the crisis. “It seems that neither the traders, not the people are priority of the government. They just want to fill their own coffers,” Mahajan said.
According to Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Jammu, the ongoing crisis in the Kashmir Valley has hit business worth crores of rupees in the winter capital. “It is difficult to quantify the amount of money that comes from Srinagar to Jammu on account of business dealings, but yes, the ongoing bandh in Kashmir has severely hit the business in Jammu,” said the FCCI president, YV Sharma.
He said in the absence of any supply of goods from Jammu to Valley and the ensued non-remittance of money from the Valley traders, the business in Jammu is receiving a severe jolt. “Our due date for filing of returns under the Value Added Tax (VAT) is just few days away and if by that time normal trade activities are not restored in the valley, traders of Jammu shall not be able to deposit VAT amount in stipulated time,” Sharma said.
While the last date for filing VAT returns to the tune of Rs 200 crores from Jammu is July 31, the traders have approached the state’s Finance Minister, Abdul Rahim Rather, urging him to extend the last date. “We (traders) called on the finance minister and sought extension in the last date for filing VAT returns because traders don’t have money to deposit in the banks. The money could come from the Valley traders. But when the Valley is closed, how is it possible for them to open their shops and do the business,” Sharma added.
Back home, the Valley traders have suffered a cumulative loss of Rs 3000 crores in the past 30 days. “Cumulatively we engage about 12 lakh people in all segments of the economy whether it is tourism, industry, manufacturing or the one-man enterprises. On a daily basis we suffer a cumulative cash loss of Rs 100 crores in the Valley,” said the president Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir, Shakeel Qalander.
According to Commercial Taxes Department, taxable imports per annum to the state measured at Lakhanpur amount to Rs 25,000 crores. “Because of the crisis in Kashmir, we do observe some reduction in the imports. Kashmir gets 25 to 30 percent of the total imports. That sees some reduction, but in the long run it is compensated as the goods are mostly durable or those whose purchase can be postponed,” said a senior official in the CTD.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 22 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
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