Economy in dire-straits; stimulus package must to reboot it: Kashmir Inc

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Srinagar: Amid Covid cases witnessing a decline, the Kashmir economy is still facing challenges to recuperate from the losses incurred during lockdown period, business community state that there is a liquidity crunch in the market which has affected business revival here.

This correspondent spoke to businessmen, traders from different segments of the economy who in unison are complaining of the worsening condition of the economy which has been further hit by the failure of the government to come up with a comprehensive financial package for the business community.

President, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, Muhammad Yaseen Khan said that there is gloomy situation in the markets; businessmen are facing the worst phase due to Covid-lockdowns which broke the back of the business community not only in Kashmir but across India.

“Businessmen don’t have money to buy new stocks, sales are at lowest ebb. You talk to any businessmen in Kashmir division he will narrate a sordid tale. The main reason is the buying power of consumers has taken a hit, inflation is highest in Kashmir, petroleum prices are skyrocketing, all these factors are affecting our business and revival process.”

Khan said that the post Covid-lockdown government didn’t come forward. “We were expecting a financial package to reboot our economy, but they have not provided anything substantially to us. We are facing multiple challenges; one is repaying loans, second is low business turnover. Only a comprehensive package can help in rebooting our ailing economy.”

Expert Chair PHDCCI-Kashmir, FMCG and Taxes, Jan Muhammad Koul said that the economy is facing tough challenges and in absence of any stimulus package revival of business has become a herculean task for business community.

“Kashmir’s business community is well-versed to deal with the crisis, but this time Covid lockdowns has broken back, at the same time there is no respite from the government. This time administration is only busy in collecting taxes be it SMC’s tax, GST or any other tax. We are facing a tough challenge given the fact we have faced continuous lockdown-like situations since 2019. Having businesses shut for a major part of three years is back-breaking for any economy. “

“Government has announced a meager Rs 1300 crore interest subvention which is nothing but a cosmetic exercise. There is a need to provide a comprehensive stimulus package which would inject finance in the economic system of the UT.”

Co- Chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance, Farooq Ahmad Dar flayed the government for failing to provide any respite to the business community. “Financial packages are being devised only to help banks which are nothing but an insult to the business community. It won’t help the economy to revive, but only burden businessmen, traders further. Pace of developmental activities is not upto the mark; it could have provided impetus to the economy. There is no concern in the government about the current situation of Kashmir’s economic condition, all they are worried is how much tax they will collect, without thinking about the fact that businesses were shut for almost three years in a row.”

President, Kashmir Traders Association, Ajaz Shahdhar also opined about the worsening condition of Kashmir's economy. He said that the government has not shown any keen interest in its revival. “Banks have not provided any succor neither did the government. This situation has led to a liquidity crunch in the market which is affecting every segment of the economy.”

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