SRI NAGAR: The SC order has been welcomed by business and tourism stakeholders and people while the IT-companies opine that their devastated sector would have to re-start from scratch.
Kashmir Chamber Commerce and Industry chief Sheikh Ashiq said internet-linked businesses had incurred heavy losses due to the ban but the SC verdict has given hope that normalcy may not be far.
The head of a Srinagar-based IT firm said, “The IT sector has suffered 62% losses in revenue and 43% lay off of personnel since August.”
About 25,000 people were associated with the IT sector in the Valley in different capacities. “The companies have lost the trust and goodwill of their clients with whom they had signed undertakings. All profits are lost. We are back into incubation stage,” he said. “Many entrepreneurs, who had initiated startups in last 5-6 years, have been forced to wind up as they have no means to survive and provide wages to their employees”.
According to him, government has restored limited access to internet to 5% IT companies with some riders.
Kashmir Tour and Travel Association president Ashfaq Ahmad said, “We incurred heavy losses with all hotels, guesthouses and houseboats going unoccupied with tourists shunning the Valley. It’s a grim scenario. “our operators, houseboat and hotel owners have shed 70% staff.”
Kashmir Houseboat Owners Association general secretary Abdul Rashid owners suffered a loss of over Rs 100 crore with no hope of revival of tourism.
Hopes rekindled by top court’s order
Kashmir University student Riyaz Ahmad hoped that the J&K administration will now restore the internet facility as the Supreme Court has linked it with fundamental right of a citizen