‘In 80 days of unrest, Kashmir economy incurs losses worth `9,000 cr’

Chairman, Kashmir Economic Alliance, Muhammad Yaseen Khan said that the business community has suffered estimated Rs 9600 to Rs 10000 crore losses during the ongoing unrest.

With business and tourism getting badly hit due to official restrictions and shutdown calls by resistance leadership, Kashmir economy has incurred losses worth more than Rs 9000 crore, economic experts and business leaders believe.
Trade which comprises majority of Kashmir’s business activities along with tourism have come to a halt for the past 80 days after protests erupted in Kashmir following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in south Kashmir’s Anantnag (Islamabad) district on July 8.As per Kashmir-based economists and business leaders “losses on an average shutdown day are recorded in the range of Rs 120 crore to Rs130 crore a day”. They say on aggregate Kashmir economy has faced losses worth Rs 9600 crore since July 9.

Kashmiri economist, Prof Nisar Ali while estimating the losses said JK nominal gross domestic product (GSDP) is 1 lakh crore.
“As per preliminary estimates tourism sector is the worst hit which has suffered Rs 4000 crore losses,” Prof Ali said. “When the unrest began, it was peak season, all hotels and houseboats were occupied, but that has all gone. And now it would have spillover effect also. Even if normalcy returns tomorrow these losses cannot be retrieved.”He said the present situation would affect even future tourism season in winter and beyond.

Regarding the manufacturing industry, Prof Ali said: “In registered and unregistered manufacturing units losses are estimated at around Rs 1000 crore. This sector contributes 5 percent to our GDP which means turnover of Rs 5000 crore per annum, however during these two months majority of these units have been idle, which means incurring losses.”
“Government has also suffered heavy losses. Wage earners, employees whom government paid salaries during last two months had no contribution towards the service delivery system which again is a big loss to the economy of the stae,” he said, adding government paid around Rs 2000 crore salary without any contribution of majority of the government employees.
“Constructions of roads and development projects also came to a halt. More than 70 percent of all the government works for which funds have been allocated for this fiscal are also badly hit. Further Plan development funds would lapse and macadamization of city roads cannot happen as winter will approach soon,” he said. “Roughly around 3500 marriages functions were simply held without any celebrations and wazwan parties meaning economic loss.”
Chairman, Kashmir Economic Alliance, Muhammad Yaseen Khan said that the business community has suffered estimated Rs 9600 to Rs 10000 crore losses during the ongoing unrest.
“ As per our rough estimates, Kashmir’s economy suffers Rs 120 to Rs 130 crore loss a day, if we calculate it on a lower side its accumulates to Rs 9600 crore,” he said adding that Kashmir economy was already in doldrums following the devastating floods in 2014.
Taking it further, the head of apex business body, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mushtaq Ahmad Wani said that Kashmir is facing worst ever business slump in its recent history.
“Our losses have gone beyond Rs 9000 crore and whole economic activities are in suspension mode following civilian killings,” he said adding that the every segment of economy has been hit badly, but tourism and transport are worst suffers as they could not even operate during deal period announced by the resistance leadership. (GK)