Kashmir's economy suffers heavy losses following eight days of shutdown

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Srinagar, June 12 (ANI): The eight-day strike and shutdown called by the separatists over alleged murder and rape of two women have dented the economy in Kashmir causing massive losses to various sectors in the region.

Though all the sectors have been hit hard, the people associated with the wedding business have faced major setback, as marriages got cancelled and thus the orders that they had were also scrapped.

Wedding garment sellers, interior decorators and furnishing shops, have all had their orders cancelled in bulk.

"We are opening shops after a period of 12 days. The business has come down to zero. There are no customers. The market was closed. How will we do business like this?" said Javed, an interior designer.

Small time traders like meat sellers and other food and grocery sellers who were hoping to make money from the bulk orders received by marriage parties also faced set back.

"I incurred heavy loses. I had got orders for ten quintals of meat which were cancelled and the entire stock is lying at my home," said Ameen, a mutton whole-seller.

Trade circles estimate the loss at eight billion rupees during the strike period.

"If we look from an economic point of view, we lose around one billion worth of business per day according to our calculations. So keeping that in mind, we have lost around eight billion rupees in these past eight days," said Shakeel Qalander, President, Federation Chambers of Industries, Kashmir.

Kashmir has been rocked by some of the most violent protests since 2008 and has been witness to numerous shutdowns and strikes.

Frequent strikes have agitated the locals who are the worst sufferers.

"We appeal to them (politicians) that before taking any step, they should at least think about it. Think before you speak. They should think of the consequences. If Kashmir was not bogged down by these frequent strikes and shutdowns, it would have been the number one state in the country, but these strikes pull us back by losses worth millions of rupees," said Shabir, a factory owner. (ANI)

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