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Recent Trends Economy and Business in J & K

While the Central Government claims major development schemes which have been completed in Jammu and Kashmir, business and trade lobbies are complaining that the economy is recovering from twin shocks of losses incurred due to curbs post August 2019 and during the COVID 19 lockdown period.

On the recent visit of the parliamentary Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs top civil administration discussed developmental scenario and people's welfare measures in Jammu and Kashmir. Chief Secretary of J&K, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta gave a detailed presentation highlighting the achievements and the functioning of all the departments of the UT, said an official statement.

The picture painted by business groups however was dismal. There are issues related to liquidity crunch due to lack of a comprehensive financial package for the business community. President, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, Muhammad Yaseen Khan said the situation in the markets is gloomy.

Khan said, "Businessmen don't have money to buy new stocks, sales are at lowest ebb. You talk to any businessmen in Kashmir division he will narrate a sordid tale. The main reason is the buying power of consumers has taken a hit, inflation is highest in Kashmir, petroleum prices are skyrocketing, all these factors are affecting our business and revival process."

"We were expecting a financial package to reboot our economy, but they have not provided anything substantially to us. We are facing multiple challenges; one is repaying loans, second is low business turnover. Only a comprehensive package can help in rebooting our ailing economy," he claimed

Expert Chair PHDCCI-Kashmir, FMCG and Taxes, Jan Muhammad Koul also complained of lack of stimulus. "Kashmir's business community is well-versed to deal with the crisis, but this time Covid lockdowns has broken back, at the same time there is no respite from the government. This time administration is only busy in collecting taxes be it SMC's tax, GST or any other tax. We are facing a tough challenge given the fact we have faced continuous lockdown-like situations since 2019. Having businesses shut for a major part of three years is back-breaking for any economy," he said.

"Government has announced a meager Rs 1300 crore interest subvention which is nothing but a cosmetic exercise. There is a need to provide a comprehensive stimulus package which would inject finance in the economic system of the UT", he claimed as per the Greater Kashmir.

Co-Chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance, Farooq Ahmad Dar, complained, "Financial packages are being devised only to help banks which are nothing but an insult to the business community he stated to Greater Kashmir. It won't help the economy to revive, but only burden businessmen, traders further. Pace of developmental activities is not upto the mark; it could have provided impetus to the economy. There is no concern in the government about the current situation of Kashmir's economic condition, all they are worried is how much tax they will collect, without thinking about the fact that businesses were shut for almost three years in a row."

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