Kashmir trade not dependent on Jammu: Kashmir Inc

The business in Kashmir valley is not completely dependent on imports from Jammu as just 30 percent of goods are being imported currently from there, Kashmir-based traders said.
The remaining 70 percent goods are imported to the Valley from other states.
Although, Jammu is the nearest city that the Valley can trade with, Kashmir is not completely dependent on imports from Jammu and has an option to do business with nearest states like Punjab.

Chairman Kashmir Economic Alliances (KEA) Muhammad Yasin Khan said that just 30 percent goods worth Rs 48,000 crore were being imported from Jammu while rest of the 70 percent was imported from other States.
Khan, who is also the President of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturing Federation (KTMF) said the Valley was not bound to make purchases from Jammu only as it could do business with other states also.
“We can do business with other states too. There is nothing like the Valley has to do business just with Jammu. We are not dependent on Jammu,” he told Kashmir Post.
Former President of Federation Chamber Industries of Kashmir (FCIK), Shakeeel Qalandar said Jammu economy was dependent on Kashmir at an estimated Rs 20,000 crore annually.

“We trade with Jammu in sectors like agriculture and allied agriculture items which are manufactured in Jammu industries,” he said.
Qalander said many multinational companies had setup their Carrying and Forwarding (C&F) agencies though many goods were imported to the Valley including pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and construction material.
He said the companies had setup their C&F agencies in Jammu because they see Jammu comparatively peaceful than Kashmir.
The FCIK president said of the Rs 20,000 crore, goods worth an estimated Rs 16,000 crore come to the Valley from other states of India through stockiest and C&F of Jammu.

“The agriculture and allied agriculture goods like basmati rice, vegetables and fruits are imported from Jammu at an estimated amount of Rs 1000 crore,” he said.
Qalander said 60 percent of the steel products manufactured in Jammu come to Kashmir.
He said in the manufacturing sector of Jammu, a large number of items like iron and plastics were imported to the Valley which was worth almost Rs 2000 crore.
“Besides, Jammu provides us Health and Education service sector coaching colleges of different academic courses where a large numbers of students are from Kashmir. If we value that in monetary terms, is also worth almost Rs 1000 crore,” he said.
Qalander said the pilgrimage and conventional tourists, who visit Kashmir, come via Jammu road which benefits Jammu as these tourists also make their spending in the city.

“After the GST regime, things have changed and traders in Kashmir will explore the possibility of getting these goods from the company instead of having a middle man in the business,” he said.
The FCIK president said post-GST regime, trends have changed and the hierarchy of manufacturer to the consumer having too many intermediates like stockiest and wholesalers concept has also changed.
“Technologies have taken over where we can buy directly at factory cost,” he said.
Qalander said people from Kashmir are still having these troubles and opting their goods from another region.
He said in winter almost 40,000 families move to Jammu and returning to the Valley, they spend on Rs 40000 on an average on their shopping which also increases economy of Jammu.

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