‘Economy on deathbed’: The great depression in Kashmir
Kashmir Updates via The Kashmir Walla
By Gafira Qadir - 10 May 2021
Riyaz Ahmad Wani, a resident of central Kashmir’s Budgam district, purchased a passenger vehicle four years ago, hoping it would change his life. But the 38-year-old transporter, a father of two, now regrets his decision.
A few weeks after making the purchase on a bank loan, Kashmir shut down for several months during the uprising of 2016. The situation continued to remain volatile. In August 2019, an unprecedented lockdown was enforced in Kashmir and when it thawed in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Kashmir shut for a second time.
Now, Kashmir is in its third lockdown since August 2019.
There is no sector of Kashmir’s economy — be it tourism, horticulture, transport, or trade — that hasn’t suffered losses in the past two years. “Economy was already on its deathbed,” said Sheikh Ashiq, President of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). “Somehow we were trying to survive, then came the pandemic.”