Ahead of Eid, sales lose steam in Shopian

Shoppers in a Srinagar market [Representational Image]
Shoppers in a Srinagar market [Representational Image]Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Shopian: Although the streets in south Kashmir’s Shopian town Thursday teemed with people, the business ahead of Eid -ul -Fitr has witnessed a significant slump.

The shopkeepers who usually record good sales in the run up to Eid witnessed low numbers of customers. Footwear shops, crockery and garment stores witnessed sluggish sales across the district.

“People are buying only the essential items. The overall business is facing a downturn”, said Peer Shabir, a trader.

Ahmad said that there had been a sharp dip in the purchasing power of people.

Tariq Ahmad, a shopkeeper who runs a crockery store told Greater Kashmir that the sales had lost steam for the last six to seven months.

Both Shabir and Ahmad believed that the low prices of apple fruit this year affected the purchasing power of the people.

“Despite a bumper crop, the growers were unable to recoup the input costs due to low market prices”, they said.

“The prices declined following a glut”, said Ahmad, who is also a member of Fruit Mandi Shopian.

He added that the closure of Jammu-Srinaagr National Highway during the peak harvesting season was another key reason.

More than 80 percent of the people in the district directly or indirectly depend on the apple industry for their livelihood.

“As apple industry faces a crisis, the overall business goes through a rough patch”, said Jan Nisar Ahmad, a local journalist, who covers the rural economy besides other issues.

He said that the annual turn over of the market is worth thousands of crores.

Javed Ahmad, a local resident blamed the price rise for decline in business.

“ The growing inflation has dissuaded people from shopping on this Eid. The profiteering by some traders are also hitting the poor badly” , he said.

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