LONDON: The lockdown in Indian-occupied Kashmir has cost the region’s economy more than $1bn in two months, according to industry experts, British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) reported.
The clampdown by Indian authorities in the occupied territory has entered the 66th day, today.
The BBC article says, “Two months on, the situation is far from normal. Internet and mobile phone connections remain suspended, public transport is not easily available, and most businesses are shut – some in protest against the government.”
There is also a shortage of skilled labour, as some 400,000 migrants have left since the lockdown began. What’s more, the streets are deserted and devoid of the tourist business which had supported up to 700,000 people.
A government official, who did not wish to be named, says they are“awaiting a financial package” from the federal government. But the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimates the shutdown has already cost the region more than $1.4bn (£1.13bn), and thousands of jobs have been lost, as reported by the British channel.
“There are around 3,000 hotels in the valley and they are all empty. They have loans to pay off and daily expenses to bear,” a local hotel owner told BBC.
In Srinagar, some shop owners wait outside their stores and open them for a customer before closing them hurriedly – until the next customer arrives.
One such owner says he is unhappy with the government’s decision, but he is also scared of angry locals who want him to keep his business closed.
“But how do I survive without my daily earnings?” he asked.