Markets complain no real business, only window shopping

Slump in trade ahead of Eid as JK’s liabilities touch Rs 2000 cr

Markets complain no real business, only window shoppingWith the J&K government facing a liability of over Rs 2000 crore following delay in approval of the annual plan 2014-15, markets across Kashmir are facing a cash-crunch with business community crying slump in trade activities ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
The week preceding Eid, according to traders in Srinagar and elsewhere, would usually remain abuzz with shoppers in Kashmir markets. However, this time around, the business fraternity is crying slump in trade activities, with experts blaming the cash-crunch and empty coffers in the State for “the restricted buying power of the shoppers.” The markets, they say, are reeling under severe financial strain.
Experts opine that the government bills and salaries are a major constituent pumping money into the market but “the failure of state government to clear the liabilities has affected the entire financial equilibrium in the Valley.”
Chairman, Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA-K), Muhammad Yaseen Khan said: “Government’s failure to clear the liabilities has created vacuum of funds in the market which is affecting the business activities.”
Khan said: “Although markets are flooded with people, the sales and business recorded by traders is less than those in previous years. The week ahead of Eid would always be a good time for the business community but so far the situation is different due to cash starvation.”
Ad-hoc Chairman, KEA (D), Farooq Ahmad Dar, said the business community along with salaried class and contractors are suffering due to the government’s failure to clear liabilities.
“Majority of the development works have been halted, contractors are not in a position to even pay their workers or labourers, which is sad,” he said.
Echoing similar concerns, President Kashmir Traders Federation, Jan Muhammad Koul, said markets ahead of Eid are feeling a pinch of shortage of funds and consequently business is not picking up ahead of Eid.
Pertinently, delay in approval of the plan 2014-15 for Jammu and Kashmir by the Government of India has badly affected the financial health of the state, with liabilities at treasuries piling up to Rs 2,000 crore.

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