Kashmir’s unorganized sector in deep crisis

The ongoing unrest in Kashmir has brought about tremendous pressure on its unorganized sector with thousands of workers either rendered jobless or denied salaries for the period of unrest.
Kashmir’s unorganized sector in deep crisis
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The ongoing unrest in Kashmir has brought about tremendous pressure on its unorganized sector with thousands of workers either rendered jobless or denied salaries for the period of unrest.

According to the sources most of the people working in unorganized and private sector in Kashmir— including teachers in private schools, salespersons, and even those working in some insurance, telecom, and pharmaceutical companies— fear they may lose their job because of the continued unrest in Kashmir.

As per the sources, since the eruption of the unrest following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani on July 8, "there was not a single working day in Kashmir, which has forced the employers to either reduce the salary of their employees or to retrench them."

"We were clearly told by our employer to look for other avenues as he is not in position to pay salaries due to ongoing unrest. This has come as a setback for not only me but also my other colleagues some of whom are lone bread winners for their families," Sajad Ahmad, who used to work in a mobile selling shop in Lal Chowk said.

According to sources, even some leading private organizations have announced salary cut. "We were only given salary for ten days for the month of July," an employee of a cement manufacturing company said.

However, the employers have their own tale to tell. "Our offices are closed for over two months. Imagine the losses we have suffered due to the situation. There is accumulation of interest liability," a valley-based top businessman stressing not to be named, said.

While the local companies are facing the brunt, "even the outside companies operating in Kashmir have started pressuring their employees either to perform or perish."

An employee of a Chandigarh-based pharmaceutical company said that they have informed their employees in Kashmir that they would be paid only for days they work.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mushtaq Ahmad Wani said that due to prevailing situation the private sector is under stress.

"Although few private companies have given salaries to their staff, majority could not due to slump," he said, adding that the "continuous restrictions have inflicted huge losses on the business community."

Commenting on job cuts, he said, "I cannot speak on behalf of those establishments, but it is a quite distressing situation for businesses as losses are piling up."

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