Conflict accepted as 'new normal', Government confirms Rs 16,000 Cr loss to state economy in five-month unrest

TNN Bureau. Updated: 1/11/2017 1:43:06 AM

JAMMU: Accepting recurring turmoil as 'new normal' in the economic life of Jammu and Kashmir, the state government has included 'uncertainty and conflict' as a factor in the process of planning, development and management of financial resources.
The annual economic survey presented a day ahead of the budget by Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu in the Legislative Assembly today presented comprehensive details on the losses incurred to the public and private sector by five-month long unrest last year. The survey report has confirmed Rs 16,000 Crore loss to the state economy caused due to the unrest from July 8 to November 30, 2016. The economic survey, its chapter "Economies of Uncertainty and Conflict" said that in 2016, the civil strife caused tremendous miseries, loss of life, complete halt of economic activity in the Valley coupled with loss of property worth crores of rupees.
"The scraping of internet services, mobile and phone services for long spells during the turmoil made communication in the state very difficult. Hartals, bandhs, stone pelting, curfews and restrictions immobilised life in all the 10 districts of the Valley," it said.
The medical services were badly affected. Chronic patients suffering from cancer, heart diseases and those requiring dialysis, continue treatment and check up had to suffer a lot.
Lack of primary treatment resulted in death of some of the patients, it said, adding that security-related expenditure is over and above the losses caused due to the 2016 unrest.
On the issue of macro-economics costs, it said the conflict has reduced per capita GDP growth, FDI inflow, exports and trade flow in the state.
"It has reduced domestic investment and savings, redirected public expenditure to security-related expenditure and reduced tourist inflow, tourism receipts and demand for transportation," it said.
The number of tourist who visited the Valley in 2015-16 stood at 6,23,932 including 2,20,490 Amarnath yatris.
"The tourist season had last year started in April and was in full swing up to July 7. The remaining about four months remained completely tense and registered closure of all activities due to turmoil resulting in almost zero arrival of tourists in the Valley," it said.
The disappearance of tourist in the Valley during four peak months resulted in loss of business to hoteliers, restaurants, houseboats, handicrafts, poniwallas, transporters, shikara walla and so on, it said adding the revenue loss in the second quarter of 2016-17 was of Rs 751.97 lakh (80 per cent) compared to revenue realisation of Rs 936.89 lakh in Q2 of 2015-16. .
The report said the industrial sector in Kashmir suffered losses of Rs 13,291 crore. Private sector lost 6,548 crore and government sector Rs 6,713 crore. As far as estimated turnover and revenue loss is concerned, it is to the tune of Rs 13,291 crore.
Some of Jammu-based small scale industrial units also suffered production losses to the tune of Rs 1800 crore in turnover and revenue losses of Rs 275 crore, it said.
The transport sector, the report said, also born the brunt as stone pelters targeted "all types of vehicles and damaged two wheelers, three wheelers, four wheelers and six wheelers".
It said the non-earning of transporters due to the conflict resulted in non-payment of bank loans and consecutive default in repayment of loans for three months and more.
The shutdowns also hit Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) which suffered loss of revenue to the tune of Rs 5.25 crore as compared to last year and its 182 vehicles, including 76 trucks, were damaged by miscreants.
Food supplies and consumer affairs were also hit as 4,908 kilolitres of kerosene oil could not be lifted and distributed among beneficiaries, it said adding the comparative analysis of the department revealed that only Rs 7.50 lakh (4 per cent) was expanded during Q1 and Q2 of the year 2016-17 as against Rs 36 lakh (21 per cent) during the same period in 2015-16.
The banking sector accumulated non-performing assets due to the turmoil. Gross NPAs increased from 5.39 per cent on 31 March, 2016 to 7.08 per cent on September 30, 2016.
As far as the impact of the disturbance on credit dispensation by the banking sector is concerned, the total credit disbursed under annual credit plan 2016-17 at the end of current financial year stood at Rs 5631.13 crore (20.37 per cent of the ACP target) as compared to credit disbursement of Rs 8080.21 crore (34.23 per cent of the ACP target) as at the end of the first half of financial year 2015-16.

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