‘Business in Kashmir incurs Rs.15-bn loss’

August 13th, 2008 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) Business has suffered losses of at least Rs.15 billion on account of the ongoing agitation in Jammu and Kashmir, industry lobby Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) said here Wednesday. ”The worst-hit industrial sectors are tourism, fruit, hosiery, carpets, handicrafts, dry fruits, tourism, forest-based products and herbs and herbal products,” Assocham president Sajjan Jindal said in a statement.

“In the last one and half months, exports fell by at least 30 percent because of the agitation, which has brought the movement of goods, particularly fruits, to a virtual halt,” Jindal added.

“If the agitation goes on, the economy of the state will suffer major jolt as people who had lined up over Rs.50 billion worth of investment for fiscal 2008-09 will depart to the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh”, Assocham said.

As per its estimates, the state witnessed increase in investment proposals from around $200 million in 2001 to more than $2.3 billion in 2007, a 10-fold increase.

This investment would have crossed the Rs.50-billion mark this financial year.

However, Jindal said, “Agitations of this nature discourage investors and therefore, peace and tranquillity must prevail in the state to ensure that its industrial prospects are not derailed”.

Jammu and Kashmir, otherwise, was poised to attract fresh investments volume of Rs.280 billion by 2012, including export orders of around Rs.130 billion.

Assocham said this would have created 2.5 million jobs.

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