Valley business losses mount to Rs 21,000 cr in 85 days

The 80-day period of shutdowns and curfews in the Valley has dented the economy of Jammu and Kashmir by a whopping Rs 21,000-crore as the separatist sponsored agitation has affected every sector.

Last Updated: Sep 01, 2010, 15:17 PM IST

Srinagar: The 80-day period of shutdowns and
curfews in the Valley has dented the economy of Jammu and
Kashmir by a whopping Rs 21,000-crore as the separatist
sponsored agitation has affected every sector including
tourism, handicrafts and the nascent industries.

Several established and upstarting manufacturing
companies, hotels and restaurants have laid off staff due to
prolonged agitation which is showing no signs of ending.

"We do not have the exact data but layoffs have taken
place mostly in the hotel and restaurant sector and the
travel trade," president of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (KCCI) Nazir Ahmad Dar said.

Dar said although reducing the number of employees in the
hotel industry was a common practice during the winters due to
lean tourist arrivals, this year the layoffs have started at
the peak of the tourism season in July.

Asked about the estimated losses suffered by the business
community in Kashmir, the KCCI president said on an average
the losses were to the tune of Rs 100 crore.

"Even on the limited days of normalcy we have had since
June 11, there has been disturbance in some part or the
other of the Valley ... it will be safe to put the cumulated
losses so far at Rs 8,000 crore," he added.

Dar said business in the state will flourish only after
permanent peace is established, which was only possible when
"Government of India takes concrete steps to break the
impasse".

Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya, the leading hotelier of Kashmir,
said he was incurring a recurring loss of Rs 30 lakh per month
due to the ongoing agitation. "My salary bill per month is
close to Rs 15 lakh while another Rs 15 lakh are incurred on
overheads like maintaining the hotel properties, electricity
bills, etc," he said.

PTI