Business establishments were closed in the first week of August last year, when the government scrapped special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Since then, there are varied reports coming in media about the actual loss suffered by the Kashmir economy during the current lockdown.
People are in economic quandary and in practical dilemma over how to sustain in this crisis. Due to this double whammy of nested lockdowns and logistical restrictions and demand shock, havoc has been unleashed upon all major sectors of the economy not only here in Jammu and Kashmir but also in other parts of the world.
For a landlocked economy like Kashmir these are huge numbers. During the last one year every business of almost every hue and type has been shut. The cottage industry, IT start ups, the tourism and the agriculture have all had a sort of perennial downtime since August 5 last year. The crisis is worst for married middle-aged people. The age is usually against them and they struggle to even bag an entry level job.
The longest high speed internet shutdown has ensured that even the most optimistic of entrepreneurs have surrendered to the fact that till the situation normalizes and there is a tangible solution at hand business would not be business as usual for Kashmir.
Undoubtedly, economic growth does depend on a degree of economic freedom, and under some circumstances, more freedom will promote additional growth. Economists have identified six factors of economic growth: natural resources, physical capital or infrastructure, labour, human capital, technology, and law. These factors are key components in an economy. Improving or increasing their quantity can lead to growth in the economy.
The Indian establishment at center needs to do a serious round of funding to compensate for the losses suffered by Kashmir economy.
It just cannot go on forever. The homesick Kashmiris in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad and other Indian cities had invested all their money to launch these startups but due to the current political situation they are moving back to these metropolitan cities.
A clear indicator of which way the Kashmir economy is going!