Unrest in Kashmir affects dates business

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Srinagar, Aug 26 (ANI): The dates business in Kashmir has gone down due to the ongoing violence in the valley.

Traders and sellers say that August has seen a mere 10 percent of business as compared to the same time last year.

Traders and Manufactures Federation general secretary Khursheed Shah said that sellers have not been able to buy their stocks from the markets outside due to the unrest.

"All the wholesale dealers who sell dates, they go to the markets outside and buy their choice of dates. But because of the unrest in the Valley they did not get an opportunity to go and buy their stocks. Some of them ordered their dates from outside and those are the dates that are on demand in the market, and it is only about ten per cent. The sale is also less and there is inflation as well," said Shah.

Dates sellers say that the situation is Valley has been quite unpredictable for the past couple of months, and hence they purchase only a minimal amount for selling.

"Last year, the sale was about 60-70 percent and now it is just 10 percent. Because the situation now is such that we open our shops for two days or so, and then there are shutdowns and curfew. There is no guarantee for curfews and shutdowns, so we bring that many stocks as much as required. Only 10 percent stock comes in. We don't get that many stocks like last year," said Manzoor Ahmad, a dates seller.

Though the markets in the Valley have opened up for people to buy eatables during the month of Ramadan in order to break their fasts, consumers are disappointed by the lack of variety of dates in the market.

"As compared to last year, about 50 percent less dates have come into the market. This time, the varieties are also less. The reason for this could be the unrest that has been going on in the Valley for the last two months. Most probably the reason is just that," said Imtiyaz Ahmad, a customer.

Local markets used to get a wide range of dates from Mumbai, Rajasthan and Gujarat as well as from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. By Afzal Bhat (ANI)

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