ISLAMABAD      -       The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) in Indian Occupied Kashmir has said that the economy of the territory has suffered losses of Rs 15,000 crore since August 5 due to continued lockdown and internet blockade imposed by India.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the KCCI President, Sheikh Ashiq Hussain in an interview in Srinagar said that this is just a conservative estimate and they will be coming up with a comprehensive data about the losses within a week.

He said that every sector of business had been hit after the clampdown and internet ban in Occupied Kashmir since August 5. “The handicraft, tourism, IT industry, e-commerce sectors and carpet industry were the worst hit,”

“Businesses have witnessed huge losses and all sort of activities have come down in the Valley post August 5. Though shops and business establishments are open for sometime till afternoon and public transport is also plying to some extent, internet ban has severely affected business activities in the Valley,” he added.

He said that the hotel and restaurant industry has seen more than 30,000 people losing their jobs.

“The e-commerce sector, which includes courier services for purchases made online, has seen 10,000 people losing their jobs. The hotel staff, houseboat owners, shikarawalas and transporters have been sitting idle or doing menial jobs. Weavers in Kashmir are now working as labourers to earn their livelihood,” he said.

Sheikh Ashiq Hussain stated that many new businesses were completely dependent on the internet.

“As per the figures of handicrafts industry, orders for carpets, shawls, paper machine has come down by 62 per cent than the previous years.