Kashmir unrest hits Jammu economy

Unrest in Kashmir has hit Jammu economy badly with businessmen there claiming to incur an estimated Rs 1,000 crore loss during past 43 days as the summer capital of the state remained under siege in the wake of civilian killings.
Kashmir unrest hits Jammu economy
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Unrest in Kashmir has hit Jammu economy badly with businessmen there claiming to incur an estimated Rs 1,000 crore loss during past 43 days as the summer capital of the state remained under siege in the wake of civilian killings.  

Kashmir receives majority of supplies from edibles to industrial goods from the winter capital as major industries in the state are situated in Jammu.

Also most of the multinational companies supplying edibles to the state have stationed their forwarding agents there, thus all the supplies have to pass through the Jammu region before reaching Kashmir.  

"Last two months have been worse for us," said president Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rakesk Gupta.

"Month of Ramdhan has always lesser demand for goods and edibles in Kashmir. However, every year following months recover the decline in business by a good demand. Unfortunately this year it has been slump after Eid as the killings resulted in chaos in Kashmir with business and tourism receiving heavy beating due to ongoing crisis there," he said.

 "As per our estimates during last 40 days Jammu business sector has incurred losses above Rs 1000 crore," he said adding that around 70 percent of supplies consumed in Kashmir are from Jammu.

"Our losses are piling up," Gupta said, adding that the tourism sector has incurred huge losses and there is no chance of its recovery this year. Now even the wedding season in Kashmir has gone off which would spur demand of locally manufactured goods in Jammu."

Large proportion of edible oil consumed in Kashmir comes from Jammu, brands like Gulati's PIR is tough competitor to outside state brands.

Most of the major MNCs have their Forwarding Agents stationed in Jammu. Since 2008, a few companies have created warehousing facility in Kashmir but major businesses still prefer Jammu.

"Industrial sector so far has incurred Rs 500 crore losses as our major market Kashmir is closed," said a Jammu-based Industrialist.

Elaborating, he said the products manufactured in Jammu have natural market in Kashmir due to proximity in distance and no competition there.

 "However our goods find it difficult to compete in other states due to cost factors," he said and added that the costs for the industry have gone up and these are beyond the margins that would help sustain the sector.

 "We have to pay idle wages, power bills, interest on working capital as we have stopped production due to no demand in Kashmir," he added.

Similarly, official figures also corroborate that the demand in Kashmir has dried up since the outbreak of protest after killing of Hizb Commander on July 8 in South Kashmir.

As per officials, during July 2015, 26459 trucks had crossed Lower Munda however during the same period this year it has fallen to 18052 in July 2016.

President, Chamber of Commerce and Industries Kashmir, General Trade, Jan Muhammad Koul said Jammu industry and business is heavily dependent on Kashmir.

 "Kashmir is their major market and curfew, restrictions have serious ramifications on their trade as the demand in Kashmir has dried up which has created slump in Jammu business," he said, adding that most of the forwarding agents of MNCs are located in Jammu.

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