"Uncertainty over Art 35A hits sales ahead of Eid"

“See the example of Jehangir Chowk flyover, ages have passed but it is yet to be completed.

Uncertainty over fate of Article 35A coupled with liquidity crunch has hit festive sales ahead of Eid, Kashmiri business community complain. 

While only three days are left to Eid ul Adha, the retail markets of Kashmir are recording lesser sales. Reason attributed by the traders is upcoming hearing of Article 35-A which has acted as double whammy for them as already businesses in Kashmir are witnessing slump due to host of reasons.

“Already Kashmir economy is passing through turbulent phase, although it has become a cliché but it is a fact. Most of the businesses have not ordered stocks in bulk due to fact that hearing of Article 35-A is coming up after Eid,” said chairman Kashmir Economic Alliance, Muhammad Yaseen Khan.  

“Similarly people who used to shop at this time fear that if any untoward decision is passed against special status of the state it would have serious repercussions,” he said adding that in comparison to last year’s Eid, sales are down by over 70 percent. He said that lack of developmental activities in Kashmir have also halted liquidity flow.

“See the example of Jehangir Chowk flyover, ages have passed but it is yet to be completed.  Only cash flowing in the market is the salary of state employees, other sectors have been hit badly which has direct bearing on the spending of people during festivals,” he added.

Chairman, Kashmir Economic Forum, Showkat Chowdhary said that Kashmiris have been pushed to wall in all aspects. “People are very sensitive about the issue of special status, therefore it has impact on overall behaviour of consumers in the market. People are spending money to buy essential commodities but there is lesser activity for other items such as garment, crockery items etc.”

Chief spokesperson of Kashmir traders and manufacturers federation, Farhan Kitab complained of slump in the business ahead of Eid. “There is lesser business being recorded by business community in almost all the markets of the Valley. From feedback we have received from our district headquarters situation is same everywhere as there is political uncertainty which is stopping both investment as well as buyers from buying.”

However, rush in bakery and confectionery items have picked up as usual ahead of Eid, the traders said.