SRINAGAR: Forget Kashmir, Jammu businessmen are facing the brunt of the lockdown.
Jammu’s fruit traders are the worst hit by the current crisis in Kashmir. The winter capital’s otherwise busiest Narwal Fruit Mandi is currently receiving only 200 to 250 apple trucks against 500 trucks during normal times.
“Basically there is very less business activity in Kashmir. The entire apple produce is sold in local Mandis of Kashmir, which has hit business in Jammu,” Rajesh Gupta, former president of Jammu Fruit Dealers Association, Narwal, told The Kashmir Monitor.
Gupta noted that the communication clampdown has compounded the problem as they could not contact their counterparts in Kashmir.
“For the last two months, we have not been able to contact our dealers and growers in Kashmir. Even we don’t know when trucks will reach Jammu. We fear prices of apple may drop further,” Gupta said.
Traders claim that post abrogation of article 370, industrial sector of Jammu alone have suffered Rs 500 crore loss.
“Jammu and Kashmir is an intra-state economy and there is a major dependence of Jammu traders on the Kashmir market. Everything, except ration and medicine, has been hit in the state. There is a slump in the business currently, which might take time to recover,” said Rakesh Gupta, President Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries
Traders claim that the manufacturers of the region have been unable to recover payments from their customers in Kashmir.
“We have no contact with the buyers in Kashmir. Payments worth crores of rupees are held up with the traders in the valley and the complete figure is quite difficult to assess,” a trader from Jammu said.
In Kashmir, the losses, as per the estimates of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industries (KCCI), have crossed over Rs 6,000 crore in the last more than two months after the Centre abrogated Article 370 and 35A.