Tourism Sector all set to reopen in J&K dates to be announced soon: Govt

The tourism sector in Jammu and Kashmir is all set to re-open, and the government is in the process of finalising and announcing a date soon. The government has started preparing the blueprint that would be made public soon to revive the critical service sector in J&K. The hospitality sector sustains the livelihoods of tens of thousands of J&K residents. Several families have been connected to the hospitality industry for generations. “This sector, seen along with Handloom, handicrafts and horticulture sectors forms the core of the J&K economy, as all…

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Harsh guidelines deliver final blow to Kashmir’s iconic houseboat industry

The Department of Tourism’s document outlines norms and guidelines for registration, renewal, and operation of houseboats in Kashmir’s famous Dal and Nageen lakes. Already reeling under the aftermath of over three decades of political unrest, loss of tourism and the ongoing lockdown, Kashmir’s iconic houseboat industry seems to have been delivered a final blow. In what is being seen as lip service to inclusive policy-making, the Department of Tourism has chosen the lockdown period to release a draft Houseboat Policy which has now been put in the public domain for…

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Online bidding for mineral blocks leaves locals at a backfoot, while non-locals walked away with lions share

For the first time ever, non-local companies have bagged a majority of contracts for the extraction of minerals from the water bodies of Kashmir. With the bidding process being held online, many local businessmen were left at a disadvantage as high-speed Internet connectivity remains restricted in Kashmir after the Centre read down Article 370 on August 5, 2019. More than 200 mineral blocks in Jhelum and its tributaries across all 10 districts of the Valley were opened for mining of sand, boulders, gravel and other river bed material in December…

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Cherry trade badly hit due to lockdown in Kashmir

While restriction to contain Covid-19 pandemic continues and all spheres of life are badly hit, people associated with the fruit industry are the worst sufferers as their ripe cherry crop has rotten in orchards due to the non-availability of transport. Lockdown restrictions amid pandemic crises killed our business and crop. June is the peak season for the valley growers to pluck cherry and send it to the different markets across the Indian plains and other parts of the world. But given the lockdown, desirous transport is not available and our…

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Kashmir witnessed 3000 days of lockdown in over two decades: Trade bodies

In last over two decades, an amalgam of 30 trade bodies in the Valley on Wednesday said that Kashmir has witnessed 3000 days of lockdown, thus simultaneously deteriorated the situation of the business community here, which they claim are struggling to survive amid the prevalent situation in Jammu and Kashmir. However, the traders also stated that the special package of Rs 20, 000 Crore announced by the government has been announced for the people excluding the business community of Kashmir. Over 30 trade bodies including Kashmir Chamber of Commerce &…

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#Lockdown: Apple industry in shamble, as millions of cartons are lying in cold storage waiting for buyers

The nationwide coronavirus lockdown has badly hit apple farmers in Jammu and Kashmir. As the farmers are not finding market for their produce, over three million cartons of apples are lying in cold storage. They are rather paying Rs 35 per box per month as storage charge, and Rs 100 as packing and grading fee to save their produce from rotting. They fear incurring more loses than the value of their produce if lockdown continues as there are no buyers due to the market conditions. The lockdown has added to…

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Civilian flights from Awantipora airfield got Defence Ministry node

In a significant development, the Union Defence Ministry has approved operation of civilian flights from Awantipora airfield, a strategically important airbase managed by Indian Air Force in southern Kashmir. “‘In-principle approval for civil flights operations from Awantipora airfield under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) has been conveyed to Ministry of Civil Aviation in June, 2019,” reads the written reply of Union Minister of State Defence Shripad Naik’s to a question by Member of Parliament from Anantnag constituency Hasnain Masoodi about the steps being taken by the Ministry to transfer Awantipora Airport…

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Irregularities in appointments, loans at heart of J&K Bank raids

Allegations of large-scale irregularities in matters related to loans, finances and appointments are at the heart of raids by the state anti-corruption bureau (ACB) at the corporate headquarters of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank that continued in Srinagar for a second day on Sunday, according to Union home ministry and ACB officials. The home ministry and the state government also decided to split the post of chairman-cummanaging director of the bank –held by Parvez Ahmad Nengroo who was removed on Saturday – in accordance with Reserve Bank of India (RBI)…

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Tourism sector on the brink of disaster

Kashmir needs no introduction as a tourism destination and its rich history is known the world over. Over the years, huge investment from the government as well as the public has played a vital role in making it a world famous tourism destination. Although it has got everything to qualify as a world-class tourism destination the prevailing political scenario and the wrong economic policies of the government, step-motherly treatment of government of India towards Kashmir and negative media publicity has turned this industry and the people associated with it on…

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Cross-LoC trade to resume after plugging of loopholes: MHA

The cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade, which was suspended by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) because of its misuse for terror funneling purposes, will resume soon after the mechanisms to check the loopholes are put in place. Sources said the work had started on installing truck scanners at both the trade centres — Salamabad in the Kashmir valley and Chakan Da Bagh in Poonch in Jammu — to enable the customs department and other agencies to see what is being imported from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. A senior officer, on the…

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