In occupied Kashmir, the Jammu businessmen are facing the brunt of the lockdown imposed by the Indian government on August 5 when it scrapped special status of the territory. The Jammu’s fruit traders are the worst hit by the current crisis in the territory. 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 Valley, which has hit business in Jammu,” Rajesh Gupta, former president of Jammu Fruit Dealers Association, Narwal, said in a media interview. He said that the communication clampdown had compounded the problem as they could not contact their counterparts in Kashmir Valley.
“For the last two months, we have not been able to contact our dealers and growers in Valley. Even we don’t know when trucks will reach Jammu. We fear prices of apple may drop further,” Gupta said. Traders claim that after the abrogation of Kashmir’s special status, industrial sector of Jammu alone has suffered Rs 500 crore loss.
Traders claim that the manufacturers of Jammu region have been unable to recover payments from their customers in Kashmir Valley. “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 and Industries (KCCI), have crossed over Rs 6,000 crore since August 5.
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