Tourism industry hit for second consecutive year

Kashmir’s tourism sector has been hit for the second year amid continued unrest in the Valley, with most tourists preferring Shimla. The Valley’s tourist destinations wear a deserted look. Just a handful visit the Dal lake, where shikaras mostly remain anchored. “This year, only 10 per cent of the expected tourists have come to Kashmir. This is our peak season and we are without any tourists,” says Shikara Owners’ Association president Wali Mohammad. “The last 10 months were horrific for us. And this time, there is absolutely no business.’’ There…

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Won’t allow dilution of special status: Kashmir Inc

Fearing that implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime would “dilute” J&K’s special status, Kashmir’s business community on Friday cautioned that any attempt to harm Article 370 will have “serious repercussions for both New Delhi and the state government.” Addressing a press here, Muhammad Yaseen Khan, president, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), said: “We are not against taxes but warn both the state and central governments that if they try to dilute state’s special status under the garb of implementing the GST regime, we will launch a massive…

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Won’t allow infringement of Article 370: Kashmir INC on GST implementation

On a day when Goods Services Taxes (GST) council meet was organized in Srinagar, the business community of Kashmir warned the State government against implementation of GST, stating that they won’t allow infringement of State’s special status. The business chambers and associations flayed the state government over its decision to hold meet in Kashmir, stating that “they have kept business community in darkness about the impact and ramifications of one tax regime.” Kashmir is a disputed territory, by bringing it under uniform taxation policy is akin to implementing the BJP’s…

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Clashes at SP College trigger chaos in City Centre

Government seems to be running out of ideas to contain the anger among students in Kashmir as there is no let up in the protests. Students of SP College Srinagar on Monday staged protests against the arrest of students by police over past weeks. They were shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans inside the premises. As soon as the protests erupted, police reached the spot and tried to pacify the students. Witnesses said the students tried to march towards the MA Road, however the police resorted to tear gas shelling to…

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Foreign Tourists bypass hot Indian plains to cold Kashmir

Vietnamese tour operators visit Valley on FAM tour With scorching heat in the Indian plains becoming unbearable for tourists, the foreign travel agents are diverting travelers to Kashmir to enjoy natural beauty in the moderate to cold temperature here. After recent FAM visit of travel agents from Thailand, Vietnamese tour operators are now in Kashmir to promote Kashmir’s unmatched beauty and landscape. Currently a group of top tour operators from Vietnam are in Valley to get familiar with Kashmir situation, beauty, language, art, craft, people, food and cuisines to promote…

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Unfazed by Kashmir Unrest, pilgrims register for Amarnath Yatra

A large number of pilgrims have shown interest in visiting the Amarnath cave shrine in Jammu and Kashmir, notwithstanding the continuing unrest in the Kashmir Valley, officials said. The number of people who have enrolled with the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board for the annual pilgrimage, which will begin on June 29, is almost the same as the last year, they said. Despite the unrest, there has been no drop in the enrollment of pilgrims, an official said. More than 2.20 lakh pilgrims had offered prayers at the naturally formed ice-Shivling last year.…

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Tourists concerned on misrepresentation of Kashmir in Media

At a time when Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has repeatedly criticized New Delhi-based TV channels for projecting Kashmir in a negative way, tourists who come to the Valley are voicing opinions about the misrepresentation of the region in the media. While the Valley is all gearing up for the new tourist season and tourists from different States and outside countries have already started to book their flights for enjoying holidays in the Valley, state government authorities have repeatedly expressed concern over the negative coverage by media. “Back home, our family…

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Travel agents accuse helicopter operators of flouting norms

Accusing helicopter operators, providing their services to Amarnath pilgrims, of corruption, Travel Agents from both Jammu and Kashmir divisions on Wednesday alleged that these operators are appointing general sales agents for selling the tickets in lieu of huge kickbacks, thus “cheating pilgrims”. In a joint press conference organized by travel agents associations of both divisions- Travel Agents of Jammu, Tourists Trade Interest Guild, PLTOF, Association of Jammu Travel Agents accused the helicopter operators especially UT AIR Helicopter of throwing the eligibility criteria to wind in selecting ticketing agents. President, Travel…

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Railway line linking Kashmir with rest of India may become functional by 2021

India is fast-tracking a project to connect Kashmir valley with the rest of the country by rail, which will enable trains to operate between New Delhi and Srinagar in 14 hours flat. The railway line, which could become functional in four years, is seen as a big development push by the Narendra Modi government in the valley. Costing over Rs 10,000 crore, it will provide all-weather connectivity and be a cornerstone of the government’s outreach programme in Jammu & Kashmir. The project is being personally monitored by rail minister Suresh…

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Will go for shutdown if ban on Islamic channels not revoked: Cable operators

Fearing a huge public backlash against banning of 34 TV channels in Kashmir, cable operators on Tuesday said implementing or ignoring the ban order by them will either ways have an adverse impact on their day-to-day operations. The state government on Sunday directed all the District Commissioners in Kashmir to take action against 34 channels, which includes channels beamed from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran. However, senior member of Kashmir Cable Operators Association, Khateeb Hussain told Kashmir Post that a massive public demand for the banned channels, particularly the religious…

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