SRINAGAR: Lack of figures has made it difficult to say whether there was a slump in market or brisk business ahead of Eid-ul-Azha in Kashmir Valley. For the head of the largest representative body of traders — Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) — Muhammad Yaseen Khan, all types of businesses including sacrificial animals, poultry, bakery, clothing, had 90 percent less sales compared to the previous years.
Yaseen has no data to support his claim. He told Kashmir Reader that he has come to this conclusion after talking with different business heads, his individual readymade garments business, and clear lack of rush in the markets. Does it hold any ground?
According to Mehraj-ud-din Ganai, the head of mutton dealers in the Valley, this Eid nearly four lakh sacrificial animals were sold, which is more than the last Eid-ul-Azha. Yaseen said he does not know from where Ganai got that number. He said he did not witness the rush in the market for sacrificial animals like he used to do.
But Ganai stuck to his figure. “Alhamdulillah, we sold all what we had purchased. About 4 lakh sheep and goats, which was by and large more than the last sacrificial Eid,” he said.
Similarly, the head of Kashmir Valley Poultry Farmers Association, GM Bhat, told Kashmir Reader that more than 55 lakh chickens were supplied to the markets this Eid. Bhat, who represents more than 13,000 native poultry producers, said that there was no decrease in the demand but producers suffered loss of about Rs 25 a chicken due to the lower rates of imported chicken from Indian states.
“We supplied the same number this year, but we could not beat the rates of chickens imported from outside,” Bhat said.
Omar Mukhtar, the head of more than 500 bakers and confectioners in the Valley, supported the claim of Yaseen. He said there was 40 percent less demand this year. He, too, had no data to support this claim.
“We don’t have any data, but the market was less,” he said.
The disbursement of money through JK Bank’s ATMs shows that this Eid more than Rs 450 crore, an amount many times up than the usual day’s disbursement, was withdrawn. It is a figure similar to last Eid’s. Where did this money go? Yaseen said the disbursement does not mean brisk business, because the money could have been used somewhere else.