₹ 45,000 crore loss in business since lockdown in Valley, says KTA

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SRINAGAR — The Kashmir Trade Alliance (KTA) on Sunday said the five-month-long lockdown had dented the Valley’s economy by Rs 21,000 crore and the total loss for the last one year is roughly Rs 45,000 crore, according to an online report released by the Trade Alliance.

Trade in the Valley have suffered a total loss of Rs 21,320.64 crore in the last five months as a result of the lockdown caused by the Coronavirus in the Valley since March 18. The Alliance says the final report will be released after the lockdown ends. The interim report was compiled after covering the daily trade and business, gross domestic product (GDP) for 2017-18 and the economic outlook.

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According to the report, the agriculture, horticulture, floriculture and agriculture sector suffered a loss of Rs 942.4 crore during the five months of the catastrophic downpour, as a result of which the sector was hit hard in 2019. Livestock suffered a loss of Rs. 2234 crore, 40 lakhs.

“Lockdown proved to be the last nail in the coffin of an already dying Production industry. In total, the sector incurred a loss of Rs. 3161 crore, 60 lakhs during the lockdown period,” the statement said.

According to a report released by the Trade Alliance, the lockdown brought construction activities to a standstill, leaving 500,000 people jobless. The statement said, “Construction activities and projects were hit by Rs 2,214.64 crore.”

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Trade Alliance said thousands of people lost their jobs, hotels looked deserted, houseboats were locked and Shikara and other tourist activities ceased. “Tourist traders were waiting for tourists in 2020, but the lockdown and the situation have dashed their hopes, and in the last five months alone, the sector has lost Rs 1,292 crore, while the hotel and restaurants also suffered a loss of Rs 760 crore,” the statement said.

The report released by Kashmir Trade Alliance President Ajaz Shahdhar said that the wheels of passenger vehicles have been jammed in the valley for the last five months, while an estimated 60,000 passenger vehicles have been stranded in the valley. The statement said, “There are vehicles, including 32,000 Taxis/cabs 6,000 Tata vehicles or minibuses, 12,000 auto rickshaws and buses, a total of 200,000 families dependent on transport. The financial condition of the drivers and conductors is very dilapidated. The sector has suffered losses of Rs 2888 crore as a result of the lockdown in the last five months.”

“There are millions of shopkeepers in the valley, while in the big shops there are also an average of two to three salesmen. As a result of shutter down, most of the goods remain unsold in the shops. The shopkeepers are neither in a position to repay the debt, nor in the position to pay the interest. The shopkeepers lost Rs. 4104 crore during the lockdown,” the statement said.

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The statement said, “Handicrafts sector has incurred a total loss of Rs. 760 crore during the last five months. Real estate sector has been affected with 2280 crore loses, while the services sector incurred a loss of Rs. 608 crore.”

According to the report, the education sector has so far suffered a loss of Rs. 76 crore.

“Rs. 1000 crore loss has been incurred during the last three Eids alone. The average daily trade in the valley is Rs 140 crore, however, the economy of the valley has reached the brink of collapse as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown,” the statement said.

The statement said, “The business community also suffered irreparable losses during the catastrophic floods of 2014, the same total losses were around Rs one lakh crore, after which the situation broke the back of Kashmiri traders, leaving millions of people stranded. The closure of this highway for about 35 days resulted in losses of about Rs 3,000 crore to the business community.”

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