Highway restrictions: Prices of essentials skyrocket in Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir government’s order of banning vehicular movement for two days(Sunday and Wednesday) in a week on lone surface link between Kashmir and rest of the country is causing a loss of Rs 95 crore a day, thus having adverse financial ramifications on trade and commerce in Kashmir.
Highway restrictions: Prices of essentials skyrocket in Kashmir
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The suspension ofcivilian transport on Srinagar-Jammu national highway for two days a week hasfuelled price rise of essential items in Kashmir.

The prices ofessential commodities and eatables have increased on average by over 30 percentsince the highway closure order was issued.

This correspondent inorder to assess the ground situation visited various markets in Srinagar.Everybody, from a retailer to a wholesaler, puts  the onus of steep rise of prices on two dayhighway ban.

"Normally peasat this time of the year were sold at Rs 30-40 per kg, but currently it ispriced above Rs 60. Similarly the price of onions per kg has gone above Rs 40.It was sold at Rs 15 per Kg before the ban," said Abdul Rashid Dar, avegetable wholesaler at Parimpora vegetable and fruit market.

Similarly against thegovernment approved rate, the mutton is being sold at Rs 450 per kilogram.

Similarly, prices offruits being imported from outside states has also increased manifold.

The brunt of this steeprise of prices is directly being faced by the common people, as this hike ismaking hole in their pockets.

"This time wecannot blame dealers as the highway closure diktat has created imbalance indemand and supply of almost everything in the Valley," said Ajaz Ahmad, aSoura resident.

Jammu and Kashmirgovernment's order of banning vehicular movement for two days(Sunday andWednesday) in a week on lone surface link between Kashmir and rest of thecountry is causing a loss of Rs 95 crore a day, thus having adverse financialramifications on trade and commerce in Kashmir.

According to theFinance Department data, goods and raw materials worth Rs 95 crore are importedto Kashmir on any given day and given this assertion, if trucks loaded withgoods and raw materials could not reach their destinations in time meaningbusiness losses.

J&K importedgoods and raw material worth Rs 58,050 crore in 2017-18, 60 per cent of which(around Rs 34,800 crore) was imported to the Kashmir division, according to thegovernment figures.

Speaking to GreaterKashmir, Chairman of All Kashmir Fruit and Vegetable Growers Union, BashirAhmad Basheer said this diktat has resulted in steep increase in prices ofeatables.

"There is nodenying the fact that prices of eatables particularly fruits and vegetableshave increased by over 30 percent," he said adding that 90 percent ofeatables are being imported from other states to Kashmir, particularly at thistime of the year.

A senior official of Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs Departmentalso blamed two day highway closure for hike in prices of essentials inKashmir.

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