The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) on Wednesday pegged the losses post August 5 security measures in Kashmir at ₹17,878 crore, with the agriculture sector topping the list at ₹2,827 crore followed by tourism at ₹2,615 crore.
“The present disruption has resulted in the loss of jobs to lakhs of locals; borrowers of loans are unable to repay and are likely to turn bankrupt; while many business establishments have closed down or are contemplating closure,” said Sheikh Gowhar Ali, joint secretary general of the KCCI.
Report to Murmu
The KCCI has projected sector-wise losses and will soon submit its report to Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu. Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, during his meeting with KCCI members in Jammu, hinted at further deliberations over the losses.
The KCCI’s preliminary projection for the period of August 5- December 3 suggested that the agriculture sector loss is at ₹2,827 crore, followed by tourism at ₹2,615 crore, service sector at ₹2,267 crore, manufacturing at ₹2,466 crore and construction at ₹1,629 crore.
IT, e-commerce hit
“Sectors directly dependent on Internet like information technology and e-commerce have been ruined. The government’s intervention in the horticulture sector for which ₹8,000 crore was earmarked for purchase of apples has come a cropper and caused price turmoil and panic sales,” said Mr. Ali.
The KCCI has expressed fears over the government’s “thrust” on non-local investors. “The primacy of claim on the resources of Kashmir should lie with locals. Decisions having any impact on their future should be taken only by them. So far the thrust seems to be on non-local investors and investments. There is a feeling among local stakeholders of exclusion and marginalisation,” the KCCI spokesman said.
Space for dialogue
The chamber also called for an environment to create space for debate, dialogue and discussion. “This entails the immediate release of prisoners representing the political, constitutional, religious, civil and business leadership of Kashmir and the youth held captive since more than four months,” it added.
The KCCI has clarified that no compensation was being sought from any quarter for the losses.