Eid business of Rs 300 crore to be lost next
Srinagar: Two months of Covid lockdown have cost the Kashmir economy Rs 8,500 crore, which when added to the Rs 17,000 crore loss suffered due to the post-August 5 lockdown last year, amounts to Rs 25,000 crore losses suffered in the last ten months.
According to a preliminary assessment by the region’s leading trade body, Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), the Kashmir economy suffered losses of Rs 8,416.2 crore in the first two months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This is the Valley’s second lockdown in a row. The first was imposed by the Government of India on August 5, when the special status of J&K was abrogated. It lasted six months, during which the Kashmir economy suffered losses of Rs 17,000 crore, according to the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
The trade sector, as per the KEA’s preliminary assessment, took a cumulative hit of Rs 1,620 crore in the last two months. The industrial sector suffered losses of Rs 1,248 crore, followed by the transport sector, of Rs 1,140 crore, while Real Estate and Housing took a hit of Rs 900 crore, livestock and constructions of Rs 882 crore and Rs 874.2 crore, respectively.
Tourism and hospitality, a sector that has trickledown effect on other sectors too, recorded losses of Rs 810 crore in the two months of coronavirus lockdown, so far. Tourism has been suffering losses right since the government itself asked tourists to leave Kashmir in early August last year. Any hopes of revival this year were dashed by the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the backbones of the Kashmir economy, handicrafts, suffered losses of Rs 300 crore in the last two months. The services sector suffered Rs 240 crore losses. Education sector lost at least Rs 30 crore in the 60-day lockdown period, so far, according to the KEA assessment.
As the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr is ahead, the losses will be further because markets will be shut in which the economic activity is worth about Rs 300 crore every year.
“Eid business in the valley is approximately Rs 300 crore and it starts one week before the festival. Business losses will increase in coming days,” the KEA said.