Rayees Ahmed is one of the few traders who used to import different kinds Miswakhs (of teeth-cleaning twig) via LoC to sell them in the peak month of Ramadhan. He says that following the trade ban this year they were unable to import anything leaving them high and dry.
The ban of LoC trade has not only made Kashmiris to give a miss to their favourite Ramadhan time teeth-cleaning twig but also ended up skyrocketing of prices of the product.
“We particularly used to import two types of Miswakhs by cross-LoC trade, one is Peelu (With packing) and Zaitoon (without packing) twig. The supply not only used to cater to Kashmir but also to many Indian states from here. We are around half a dozen traders who import these Miswakhs via LoC and this Ramadan none of us has any stock,” said Rayees Ahmed, a trader.
The trader said that they had pre-ordered more than seven thousand cartons of Miswakhs which were stuck due to the trade ban. Each carton has seven hundred pieces of Miswakhs in it.
“These Miswakh, we used to import, due to their tenderness and fragrance were more popular and on top of that it cost very less as compared to those imported via other states,” Rayees said.
The trades and consumers are facing same issue following the zero import of dates via LoC which is the most popular Ramadhan product.
Traders said that the dates brought via LoC used to be very economical for traders and eventually were very affordable to consumers.
“This time the supply of dates came from mainland India which are imported from Middle East and cost twice as compared to what we used to import via LoC trade,” said Bashir Ahmed, who is one of the few LoC traders dealing with dates.
“Dates from LoC trade used to cost us around Rs 100 per kilogram while those imported via sea ports cost between Rs 200 to Rs 300 per kilogram. The sky rocketing of rates of this product has made it very hard for a common man to buy them,” said Bashir Ahmed adding that they had ordered around 150 trucks of dates which could not cross LoC due to abrupt trade ban.
These traders say that they were expecting a good turn over given the Ramadhan but the ban has choked every business opportunity.
“The ban has not only affected the common man but also those who are directly and indirectly dependent on the trade. The abrupt trade ban has hit the market and left hundreds without livelihood,” said Hilal Ahmed Turkie, chairman Cross LoC Traders Union.