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Kashmir unrest inflicts Rs 16,000 cr losses to J&K in 5 months

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Jan 10: Due to five-month long Kashmir unrest following the elimination of Hizb terrorist Burhan Wani, the Jammu and Kashmir State suffered over Rs 16,000 crore losses because of complete halt of economic activities owing to continuous Hartals, stone pelting and curfew restriction in the Valley.
This has been revealed by the State Government’s Economic Survey 2016 report, which was tabled in the J&K Legislative Assembly, here today, by the Minister for Finance Haseeb Drabu.
“Losses caused to the economy of the State due to Kashmir unrest from July 8 2016 to November 30, 2016 are estimated at more than Rs 16,000 crores while the cost of security related expenditure is over and above the losses due to the unrest,” says the report adding that the conflict reduced Per Capita GDP growth, FDI inflows, export, trade flows, domestic investment, tourism inflow, etc besides redirecting public expenditure to security related expenditure.
The estimated loss suffered by Industrial sector during 130 days of Hartals and curfew, is of the order of Rs 13,291 crores, comprising of Rs 6,548 crore of Private sector and Rs 6,713 crores of Government sector. The estimated turnover and revenue loss in Rs 13291 crores is of the order of Rs 11555 crores (Private sector Rs 5720 crores and Government sector Rs 5835 crores) and Rs 1736 crores (Private sector Rs 858 crores and Government sector Rs 878 crores), respectively.
In addition to this, the report says, some Jammu based Small Scale Industrial units also suffered production losses due to turmoil in the Valley and their turnover loss was Rs 1800 crore and revenue loss was Rs 275 crores, as reported by the Industry Department.
The disappearance of tourist in the Valley due to the unrest during four peak months resulted in loss of business to hoteliers, restaurants, houseboats, handicrafts, poniwallas, transporters, shikara walla and so on, reports said adding that the revenue loss in the second quarter of 2016-17 was of Rs 751.97 lakh (80 per cent) compared to revenue realization of Rs 936.89 lakh in Q2 of 2015-16.
The tourist season in 2016 had started in April and was in full swing up to July 7. However, the remaining about four months remained completely tense and registered closure of all activities due to the turmoil resulting in almost zero arrival of tourists in the Valley,” the reports explains. During 2015-16, the number of tourist who visited the Valley stood at 6, 23,932 including 2, 20,490 Amarnath yatris.
The Transport sector was the worst hit in the Valley during four months of turmoil and born the brunt as stone pelters targeted all types of vehicles and damaged two wheelers, three wheelers, four wheelers and six wheelers. Non-earning of transporters due to the conflict resulted in non-payment of bank loans and consecutive default in repayment of loans for three months and more. The shutdowns also hit Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (JKSR-TC) which suffered loss of revenue to the tune of Rs 5.25 crore as compared to last year and its 182 vehicles, including 76 trucks, were damaged by miscreants.
The banking sector accumulated non-performing assets (NPAs) due to the turmoil. Gross NPAs increased from 5.39 per cent on 31 March, 2016 to 7.08 per cent on September 30, 2016. As far as the impact of the disturbance on credit dispensation by the banking sector is concerned, the total credit disbursed under annual credit plan 2016-17 at the end of first half of the current financial year stood at Rs 5631.13 crore (20.37 per cent of the ACP target) as compared to credit disbursement of Rs 8080.21 crore (34.23 per cent of the ACP target) as at the end of the first half of financial year 2015-16, which indicates decrease of Rs 2,449.08 crores (30 percent decrease in disbursement of credit.
The report, in its chapter ‘Economies of Uncertainty and Conflict’, explains how the unrest caused tremendous miseries, loss of life, complete halt of economic activity in the Valley coupled with loss of property worth crores of rupees.
“The scraping of internet services, mobile and phone services for long spells during the turmoil made communication in the State very difficult. Hartals, bandhs, stone pelting, curfews and restrictions immobilised life in all the 10 districts of the Valley,” it said adding that the medical services also got badly affected.
“Chronic patients suffering from cancer, heart diseases and those requiring dialysis, continue treatment and check up had to suffer a lot while lack of primary treatment resulted in death of some of the patients,” the reports says.
With regard to loss to Human Resource Capital, the report says that in the year 2016. the schooling could be conducted only for a period of four months in Kashmir Valley with the result that the 10th and 12th class exams, held in November 2016, covered only 40 percent to 50 percent of the total curriculum while classes from Ist to 9th had to be given mass promotion.
Food civil supplies and consumer affairs were also hit as 4,908 kilolitres of kerosene oil could not be lifted and distributed among beneficiaries due to turmoil situation in the Valley. Comparative analysis of the department revealed that only Rs 7.50 lakh (4 per cent) was expanded during Q1 and Q2 of the year 2016-17 as against Rs 36 lakh (21 per cent) during the same period in 2015-16.
Infrastructure sector, construction activities, Labour and Employment, Power, Animal and Sheep Husbandry, Forest sector, Housing and Urban Development, PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control related activities were other casualties of to the unrest.

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