We lost financial capacity to restart businesses: Traders

Representatives of trade bodies addressing press conference. — Excelsior/Shakeel
Representatives of trade bodies addressing press conference. — Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, June 3: The traders today said the business community across the sectors in J&K has lost the financial capacity to restart their business as it has been suffering for the last 3 decades, particularly for last at least 10 months.
Addressing a press conference here at SKICC, Sheikh Ashiq, President of KCC&I said that there is nothing for them in the economic package announced by the Government of India because the situation of J&K and the rest of the country is totally different in terms of losses in business.
“The businesses in the rest of the country and the businesses here, are two different things; they are suffering due to the COVID-19 lockdown, while we are down since August last year,” he said.
He was straightforward in admitting that the business community has lost the financial capacity and that there is no liquidity.
”We don’t have the cash flow to start the business post lockdown. We just can’t start the business. The situation is even worse for the small shopkeepers, they don’t have any idea how to go about it,” he said.
He said that the package of Rs 20 lakh crore announced by the Government of India has got nothing for the business community in J&K.

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The traders said that their business friends in the country raised voice over the losses they suffered in the last few months. The Government later announced a package for the people who got affected.
“We have been excluded from the package as it was announced for those only who have suffered losses in the last two months. But, the businessmen in Kashmir are facing the losses from the last ten months,” they said.
The traders said that the Government has to use different yardstick here in J&K and has to come up with out of box solutions to address the problems being faced by the business community.
It is worthwhile to be mentioned here that over 30 trade bodies including Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCC&I), Kashmir Traders & Manufacturing Federation (KTMF), Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), PHD Chamber of Commerce (Kashmir Chapter), Kashmir Hotel & Restaurant  Owners Federation (KHAROF), Jammu & Kashmir Hotelier Club (JKHC), Jammu & Kashmir Association of Hajj & Umrah Companies (JKAHUC), Kashmir Industrial Revival and Development Forum. (KIR&DF), Kashmir Joint Co-ordination Committee of Chemists & Druggists, All Kashmir Transport Welfare Association, Jammu & Kashmir Fruit & Vegetable Processing and Integrated Cold Chain Association (JKPICCA), Kashmir House Boat Owners Association (HBOA), Beopar Mandal (Maharaj Gunj), J&K Private School Coordination Committee, Shopian Fruit Mandi Association, Artisans Rehabilitation Forum, Kashmir Economic Form, Shehri-Khass Traders Coordination Committee, Jammu & Kashmir Hotels & Restaurant Association (JKHARA), Tourist Taxi Stand Federation, Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK), Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Alliance (JKTA), Pilgrim and Leisure Tour Operators Forum(PILTOF), Tourist Trade Interest Guild.(TTIG), Urban Travel Agents Association. (UTAA), Kashmir Association of Retailers(KAR),  Restaurant and Café Association of Kashmir (RAK), Association of Kashmir Tour Operators (AKTO),  Kashmir Carpet Association.  Kashmir Youth Entrepreneurs Federation (KYEF) and Kashmir Artists Welfare Foundation (KAWF) were present during the presser.
Elaborating further, the traders said that every sector has suffered. “Horticulture has somehow managed. We have recorded a 50 percent in exports in Handicrafts and do not look up for any work this year,” they added.
Underlining the losses suffered by the transport community, in particular, the traders said that the sector has been continuously suffering and that the Almighty knows how they are managing.
With regard to education, the traders said that that 4G is now a dream. “Kids are suffering. The children in the rest of the country are attending online classes, but our kids are suffering. How can a nation, whose education is suffering, ever prosper,” they asked.
The traders said that they have been meeting people in the J&K Government as well as in Delhi. “We want the Government’s attention. We have given them the inputs; we have given multiple revival measures. They have to respond,” they said.