STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Highlighting miserable plight of hoteliers, lodge owners and traders of old city area, Imran Salaria, President Hotels Association Talab Khatikan on Saturday urged Government to sanction financial package for welfare of suffering businessmen. Speaking during a press conference, Salaria along with other members including Khurshid Beig, Bilal Khan, Latif Sofi, Shama Kifyat, Shuja Zaffar (Chairman Jammu Muslim Front) and Qazi Imran (President JMF) said that business community is facing numerous issues since August 2019 when Government ordered immediate evacuation of all tourists from J&K despite ongoing Amanath Yatra. This unplanned order of Government created a lot of financial crisis for people related with tourism sector of J&K, he added. Shuja Zaffar said that the situation further deteriorated with nationwide lockdown imposed to contain COVID-19. “Sudden lockdown affected the business community to great extent as cash flow suddenly dropped to zero, resulting in closures of many units. To save business besides plugging financial losses, many employers were compelled to curtail staff,” he said, adding that other small businessmen and shopkeepers including transporter taxi operators, travel agents, tailors, grocery stores, vegetable vendors, Dhabas, restaurants, pony-wallas and many others suffered huge losses to lockdown. The members further urged the government to initiate necessary measures for rescuing traders including wavier of loans, waiving-off electricity bills, income tax, school fees etc besides sanctioning a financial package at the earliest. Moreover, Jammu is purely dependent on religious pilgrim, which should be started as early as possible for sustainability of Jammu business besides restoring rail and bus services, he demanded.
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