Srinagar, Jan 31: A pivotal seminar organized by the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation today brought together various stakeholders, including traders, agriculturists, and tourism sector representatives, to deliberate on the pressing challenges faced by the Kashmir economy and explore avenues for its revival. The event, held in the heart of Srinagar, saw Arhan Bagati, a distinguished Kashmiri Pandit and youth leader, gracing the occasion as the Special Guest of Honour.
Addressing the gathering, Abrar Khan, Chairman of the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, highlighted the adverse impacts of the current market stagnation and the growing penchant for online shopping, which have notably affected local traders. Representatives from the tourism, agriculture, and horticulture sectors also voiced their concerns regarding the sluggish market conditions and expressed a keen interest in identifying solutions to navigate these challenges.
A significant portion of the discourse revolved around the escalating cost of living, with many speakers emphasizing how rising water and electricity bills have become unsustainable for small shopkeepers, street vendors, and daily laborers. Calls for governmental assistance and rehabilitation measures were echoed throughout the seminar, underscoring the community's plea for support in these trying times.
The seminar also shed light on the unique challenges posed by Kashmir's reliance on the import and export business model, particularly the significant role of logistic costs in the current economic landscape. Stakeholders unanimously agreed on the need for a collaborative effort between the government and the community to devise effective strategies for overcoming these obstacles.
In his address, Arhan Bagati underscored the importance of innovation and sustainable solutions for the long-term empowerment of the region. "We must look for innovative ways to overcome our current problems and find sustainable solutions that benefit everyone in the long run," Bagati stated, emphasizing the collective effort required for genuine progress.
The timing of the seminar is particularly poignant, coinciding with ongoing parliamentary sessions and budget discussions in New Delhi. Participants and locals alike harbor hopes that the government will heed their pleas and introduce policies and schemes tailored to the unique needs of the Kashmir valley.
After spending three years in the United States for his education, Arhan Bagati has come back to his homeland. Leading the charge through his NGO, Kyari, which is based in Srinagar, Bagati plays a pivotal role in driving forward initiatives aimed at fostering positive transformation in the area.
The seminar concluded with a consensus on the urgent need for innovative, sustainable strategies to address the economic challenges facing Kashmir, with a call for enhanced collaboration between the government, local communities, and stakeholders across various sectors.