J-K business community looks forward to boost in local economy

Srinagar: The business community in Jammu and Kashmir is expecting an infusion of Rs 250 crore in the local economy over the next week as people start preparations for `Eid-ul-Fitr`.

Markets in the summer capital of the state and other towns and district headquarters have been decorated and flushed with `fresh arrivals` as traders expect heavy rush of customers through the week leading to the festival which will be celebrated either on August 19 or 20 depending on sighting of the moon.

"We had a couple of good years, the tourist arrivals were good and the economy of the Valley has seen some good days recently. So, we expect people to show up for shopping ahead of Eid festival," Abdul Hamid Punjabi, President of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.

Punjabi said although people mostly spend on items like eatables and clothing ahead of the festival, it will still be a boost for the local economy.

Wholesale mutton dealers have ordered additional stocks of sheep and goat to meet the high demand for meat on Eid while poultry dealers have also followed suit.

"An average household will consume four to six kg of mutton on Eid days. It will increase the demand around six fold," Altaf Ahmad, a wholesale mutton dealer, said.

Bakeries and confectioneries generally see high turnover during festivals in the Valley with residents expected to spend around Rs 50 crore on these items alone.

"Besides taking bakery and confectionery for home consumption, people now use sweets as gifts when they visit their friends and relations on Eid festival", Aashiq Hussain Bhat, a bakery owner, said.

Ready-made garment dealers are also hoping for a good sale this Eid. "With peace returning for the last two years now, we are hopeful of good sales this year," Mohammad Yaseen Dar, a readymade garments dealer in posh Lambert Lane market, said.