Market closure order conspiracy to kill business activities: Traders Federation

Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation on Sunday said the government of Jammu and Kashmir was “playing with fire by provoking the trader community” by asking shops and establishments in various areas of Srinagar to remain closed once a week.
The government’s Labour and Employment Department issued an order earlier this month to fix what it called “close days”.
The order, signed by Commissioner/Secretary to the government, Kifayat Hussain Rizvi, stated that the order was issued in exercise of the powers conferred under the Jammu and Kashmir Shops and Establishments Act.
In a statement issued here, the President of the Federation, Haji Muhammad Yasin Khan, expressed dismay against the reported remarks of the Labour Department that the government authorities would “ensure closure of shops” on the fixed days.
Khan, who also heads the Kashmir Economic Alliance, said, “We have already appealed to the government that the weekly off calendar for Srinagar is anti-business diktat that will hamper the business interests of the traders earning livelihood in a place like Kashmir where markets are often off due to security restrictions or strike calls.”
“Not a day passes when market or other is not closed duo to turmoil, so in given conditions we cannot keep the markets shuts,” he said.
Citing an example, Khan said: “Moreover, people love to visit [downtown Srinagar] on Fridays as it houses most of the shrines and [mosques]. Keeping the market closed on this day is a conspiracy to kill the business activities.Same is true for other areas.”
Likewise, he said, the Central Business District around city center Lal Chowk is ‘equally often closed’.
“In a conflict zone the traders need to be given some relaxations to earn livelihood but it seems that that government is interested to make traders take to streets again and again,” Khan said.
Khan asked traders to be united for the cause and be prepared for a “decisive agitation because otherwise our livelihood is being snatched.”
“If the concerned authorities try to enforce market closure in accordance with the new calendar, the entire locality will observe shutdown while [the Federation] team will instantly visit the affected market to decide about future course of action,” he said in the statement.
He said if the government remains reluctant on its “anti-business” stand then the traders will be left with no options but to begin a massive agitation, “onus of which shall lie on the government”.

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