Unrest affects Eid-ul-Azha shopping in Valley

Last Updated: Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 18:23

Srinagar: The nearly five-month unrest in Kashmir has put a dampener on the spirits of business community as the shopping spree associated with Eid-ul-Azha is yet to pick up in the Valley with two days left for the
festival.

Although markets in the summer capital Srinagar and other major towns were abuzz with activity, the shopkeepers are complaining that the brisk sales witnessed ahead of Eid were missing this year.

"The drop in the Eid eve buying spree is certainly the impact of strikes and curfew which paralysed the life in the Valley since June 17," said a shoe shop owner waiting for customers in Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the city.

According to official estimates, the state economy has suffered losses to the tune of Rs 27,000 crore during the recent agitation in the Valley. Most of the losses were suffered on account of taxes and levies which could not be
collected.

However, industry sources put the losses at around Rs 40,000 crore in terms of lost business opportunities over the past five months.

More than 60,000 youths have been rendered jobless, mostly in hotel industry which depends on tourism -- the worst hit sector due to the strikes and curfews.

"All businessmen were hit hard by the agitation and hoping for some good business ahead of Eid. Since most people have lost earning opportunities during past few months, we are yet to notice the usual shopping spree," Farooq Ahmad Bhat, a dealer in ready-made garments, said.

Toy store owner Arif Ahmad Khoja expressed hope that the business will pick up during the next two days as most of the schools in the city were open today.

"You can make a grown up understand the fall out of the agitation on their pockets but you will do everything to make your child happy on a festival like Eid," he said.

Khoja said people are mostly buying bakery, confectionery and essential items. "We hope they will turn to us over the next two days."

However, purchase of sacrificial animals, associated with a ritual during Eid which is being celebrated on November 17, has already picked up.

There is heavy movement of people around the areas where
the sacrificial sheep and goats are sold.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 18:23

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