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J&K registers 26% decline in exports last year due to consistent lockdowns

Last Updated on March 26, 2021 at 4:18 pm

The Union Ministry of Commerce has released figures which show that exports from Jammu and Kashmir have dropped by 26 percent because of lockdown last year.

97.05 million US dollars (USD) worth goods were exported from Jammu and Kashmir from a time period between April and November last year. In 2019, goods valuing 131.76 million USD were exported during the same period which is 34 million USD higher. Data reveals that Jammu and Kashmir exports of last year only formed around 0.6 percent of overall exports from India.

Kashmir exports hundreds of products from vegetables and fruits to hand-made goods which bring sufficient foreign exchange into the country. However, consistent lockdowns in past two years have caused a slump in the export sector.

J&K exports during April to November went down by more than five percent in comparison to 2018 when exports were 196.43 million USD. Handicrafts are one of the main products which are exported and their export declined by 62 percent in the second quarter of 2019 in comparison to first quarter.

Handicrafts of Rs 298.28 crore of value were exported in the first quarter including carpets of Rs 122.65 crore. As internet services were restricted in the second quarter, the overall exports went down to Rs 187.47 crore of which carpets contributed to Rs 76.26 crore.

J&K exported most in 2018 in the last five years and contributed 0.6 percent to India’s total exports that year. In 2017, Jammu and Kashmir exported goods worth Rs 148.31 million USD during the April-November period.

India exported (merchandise and services) worth US$ 304.53 billion during April- November 2020 which is 13.45% lower in comparison to US$ 351.83 billion during April- November 2019. The Centre has also granted Rs 245.35 crore to many states during the last three years under Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) for promoting export business.

Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad, former president of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and industries said that exports have declined in Jammu and Kashmir after 2016. He said that overall exports have witnessed a decline of around 50-60 percent by now. This steep decline has negatively affected more than three lakh people in the Kashmir region.