'Govt order on tourists, yatris will hit Kashmir economy'

The order issued by Jammu and Kashmir government asking tourists and Amarnath yatris to immediately curtail their stay in Kashmir will have an adverse impact on the economy, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry  (KCCI) said on Saturday.

Addressing a press conference, KCCI president, Sheikh Ashiq said various sectors such as handicrafts, transport associated with the tourism industry will also suffer huge losses. “There are lakhs of people directly or indirectly associated with the tourism and handicrafts sector. The sudden exodus of tourists and yatris will have a far-reaching impact on Kashmir’s economy. The uncertainty arising out of this situation is also doing huge damage,” said Ashiq.

Ashiq said apart from the thousands of holidaymakers, lakhs of skilled and unskilled workforce from outside the state working in the Valley are also panic-struck due to the order. “We are afraid that dozens of developmental projects will come to a stand-still as The order has not only forced tourists and yatris to leave the valley but has also triggered a migration of the work force and labour working in various business, developmental and infrastructural projects in the Valley,” said Ashiq.

Ashiq said the chamber has sought an appointment with Governor Satya Pal Malik to apprise him about the impact of such orders on local economy.

The KCCI president urged the governor administration to provide clarity on the frequent government orders being issued.

Ashiq said the prevailing situation has forced several foreign countries to issue travel advisories which is quite alarming.