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Trade, business struggling to get back on track, says KCCI

Appeals for a moratorium period for next two years, one time amnesty for restructuring of NPA accounts

SRINAGAR: Two years after the Government of India (GoI) abrogated the Article 370 and divided the erstwhile state of J&K into two separate UTs, trade bodies in the valley Thursday said that they are still struggling to cope up with the business losses they have faced post August 5, 2019.

An apex trade body of the valley, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) estimates a loss of around Rs 45,000 crore, and attributes the fallout of business to the successive lockdowns.

According to the KCCI, the fallout led to their business transactions off the track with the banks and other financial institutions, taking their performing business accounts to non-performing assets (NPAs).

KCCI President, Sheikh Ashiq said that trade and business is struggling in the valley and unless the government won’t extend helping hand to the trade and business community in the valley, the revival is very difficult.

“Trade is just restarting in the valley, but deficiency of working capital and un-cleared liabilities is making it difficult for the trade and business bodies,” he said.

While referring to the larger segments of the trade and business community in the valley, Ashiq said that the good performing accounts have turned into NPAs, and the trade and business community is struggling with the sales also leading to a further effect on the revival of NPA accounts.

According to the trade bodies, around 50 percent of the trade is on the verge of closure, with some business establishments already either closed or have changed their line of activity because of the non-availability of the working capital, which according to them has been exhausted over the years.

While appealing to the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha and Chief Secretary Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Ashiq said, there is a need of a moratorium period for next two years for the trade and business community in the valley.

“Traders should be provided an instant relief with one time amnesty for the waiver of interest accumulated since the conversion of accounts of trade and business units in NPA and also restructuring of those accounts with two year moratorium period and repayment of the loan in next seven-year with the additional funding to restart their units,” he said—(KNO)


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