Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Friday thanked the State Administrative Council under the Chairmanship of Lt Governor G C Murmu for the announcement of relief package of Rs. 350 Crores for the low-income groups including labourers, Ponywallahs Houseboat Workers/Shikarawalas, Conductors and Rehriwalas.
In a statement, the spokesperson appreciated the role of Baseer Ahmad Khan, Advisor to the Lt Governor and BVR Subramanyam, Chief Secretary, J&K for taking cognizance of the concerns raised by the KCC&I regarding the hardships faced by the lower-income categories during the current crisis. We expect that the relief would be immediately disbursed amongst the needy persons.
The spokesperson stated that thought the intervention of Rs 1000/- per month which comes to two-day wages for labourers and a day’s earnings of Shikarawallahs may not seem much but it was appreciable that the Government had initiated the process of extending support to the most vulnerable sections of the economy.
“The KCC&I had in the interaction with G C Murmu in January 2020 apprised the Government about the economic losses incurred by Kashmir. As per the report, an estimated loss of around Rs 18,000/- Crores was incurred by the economy of Kashmir and approximately 5 lacs jobs were lost during the period of four months from the 5th of August, 2019 to the 3rd of December, 2019. Kashmir has presently entered the ninth month of economic interruption and estimation of losses could be a futile exercise now,” the statement said.
“The turmoil of the previous months was further worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought the global economy to a grinding halt. For the business community of Kashmir which has had to suffer double jolts, the situation is very grim and serious. Most of the business operations are under tremendous stress and at the verge of bankruptcy and insolvency. Many have permanently downed their shutters,” it said.
“The Government needs to urgently announce effective financial interventions and supportive measures for enabling the economy to tide over the crisis,” said KCCI spokesman in a statement.