Centre asks J&K trade bodies to submit preliminary report on business losses

Union Industries and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has asked the trade bodies of Jammu and Kashmir to compile a preliminary report on losses incurred by the businesses due to uncertainty and internet blockade post abrogation of J&K special status under Article 370.

According to sources, the union minister held meetings with the heads of industries and commerce bodies from both Jammu and Kashmir divisions, who were invited for by the central government to deliberate on the issue of business losses due to uncertainty post August 5. 

Goyal, who also holds charge of Railway Ministry, gave a patient hearing to the trade representatives and asked them to compile a preliminary report on losses and submit it to the J&K Government.

Representatives of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries and other trade bodies from Jammu were also part of the meeting.

Speaking to Greater Kashmir over phone, President KCCI, Sheikh Ashiq said that they apprised the central government of the losses being incurred due to prevailing uncertainty in the valley coupled with internet blockade which caused huge losses to IT, tourism and handicraft sectors.

“He asked us to share our problems with the central government. KCCI, which has already estimated the losses, presented them to the minister. According to our estimate Kashmir’s economy so far has incurred Rs 15000 crore losses,” Ashiq told Greater Kashmir over phone.

“The minister told us to submit this preliminary report to the J&K Government. He also asked us to compile the loss figures in handicraft, IT sectors caused due to internet blockade separately,” he said, adding that the representatives from J&K also raised the issue of the internet blockade with the central government.

Ashiq said that the minister assured them the central government would come to rescue of the beleaguered economy of J&K which has been battered due to uncertainty prevailing in Kashmir post-abrogation of special status of erstwhile state of J&K.

Another industrialist who was part of the meeting said that the minister assured them of all possible help in bringing back J&K’s economy on track.

Central government on August 5 abrogated J&K special status and bifurcated erstwhile state into two Union territories of J&K and Ladakh. Since then Kashmir’s economy is under distress while tourist influx to the Valley is witnessing drastic decline at the same time uncertainty leading to business losses in other sectors of the economy.

Recently during a question answer session in the Parliament, the Union Government had stated that they have no figure on losses incurred by businesses in J&K post abrogation of Article 370.