Srinagar, May 30: Describing lockdown as a temporary solution to the epidemic, industry associations and traders Sunday urged the government to include all businesses in the recently announced relief package aimed at mitigating effects of COVID-19 on various sections of society.
Calling for a roadmap to revive economy of the union territory, Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) held a meeting â€˜Losses to Trade and Way forwardâ€™ here which was attended by industrialists, traders, transporters, houseboat and Shikara owners and contractors.
Addressing the meeting, Chairman KEA Muhammad Yousuf Chapri drew the attention of the government to the losses being incurred by various business sectors.
He said, â€œIt was only after the floods that trade declined, and the political and pandemic conditions afterwards did the rest damage.â€ Chapri said the economic situation in Jammu and Kashmir is not good and is on the verge of collapse.
â€œIf the government does not come forward to hand-hold traders, then it will be the last nail in the coffin of businesses here,â€ he said.
Â Expressing concern over the economic situation, co-chairman of KEA Farooq Ahmad Dar said that some people are trying to take advantage of the situation and put the issues of traders on the backburner. He said the government should prepare a roadmap to get small traders and transporters out of the current distress situation.
Speaking on the occasion, President Goods Transport Association Muhammad Siddique Ronga while mentioning the losses incurred by the transport sector, said it suffered most during the last two years.
Ronga said the sector had incurred a loss of about Rs 6,000 crore in the last 21 months. â€œNow transporters sell their vehicles to feed their families.â€ He demanded the government to announce a special package for drivers, conductors and others associated with the sector.
He said that traders from all sectors should be included in the relief package in the same manner as in other states.
Bashir Ahmed Bashir, President, New Kashmir Fruit Growers Association also participated in the event in virtual mode.
General Secretary, of faction of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, Shahid Hussain Mir, highlighted the problems being faced by the shopkeepers. He said they have borrowed loans from financial institutions, and due to unfavourable situation are failing to repay them. He demanded concessions in bank loans and tax rebates from the government.
Muhammad Rajab Kochay, acting chairman of another faction of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, also demanded that the government address the issues being faced by the traders.
He asked the administration to come forward and help the small traders who are bearing the brunt of the current situation.Â
President, Kashmir Shikara Association Haji Wali Mohammad said the sector was facing severe losses and the concessions given by the government were insufficient.
Demanding relief to the small traders, Kashmir Traders United Forum Vice Chairman Fayaz Ahmed Bhat urged the government to lend a helping hand to them in these difficult times.
Merajuddin Ganai, senior leader Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association, Ghulam Rasool Kanji, President Kashmir Floor Mills Association, Arshad Ahmed Bhat, Secretary Central Contractors Coordination Committee, Haji Nisar, Vice President KTMF Faction, Gulzar Ahmed, Tourist Trade Hawkers Association President, Tahir Ahmed Dar, Vice President Maisuma Bazar Committee, Altaf Hussain Dar, Jangalat Gali Bazar Association President, Abdul Hameed, Merajuddin Khan and others also attended the meet.