Srinagar: Kashmir-based traders have urged the government to offer financial support in several ways to the business community in order to correct the long-term economic downturn.
The business community members have complained that there is a slump in business. They said that the Covid pandemic has already caused problems over the last several years, according to the traders, and now work on numerous construction projects in Srinagar, Kashmir’s commercial centre, has negatively further impacted the business.
President, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Kashmir, Farhan Kitab, stated that in COVID, traders were granted some relaxation, including relaxation in payment of loans and bills, and they want similar measures in place right away since all traders are currently experiencing a downturn in business.
According to Kitab, “When the commercial hub of Kashmir is impacted by various development projects, it creates a domino effect and affects trade in other districts as well because all are connected and trading with one another.”
He said that if the government could provide some flexibility in the form of postponing payments, reducing instalments, and debt restructuring, the business community in Kashmir would profit.
“The majority of the dealers are in debt, so these little acts of kindness may really make a difference. We have energy and water bills, as well as other payments that are becoming increasingly difficult to make in light of the fact that Lal Chowk, the city’s major commercial district, has endured several season’s losses while the city has been hampered by numerous construction projects. Every retailer has a bank loan, and debt restructuring may also be highly beneficial,” he said.
Traders also said that special packages are a need of the hour because business has been affected one way or the other for the past few years.
President, Kashmir Trade Alliance, Ajaz Shahdhar said that they had appealed government various times for the special package given the losses they faced for the past few years.
“Since Covid, the business never picked up. Although some sectors like tourism got back to business, general traders and retailers like us are continuously suffering. We hope that the government will provide some special package for traders,” he said.