New Delhi, August 03, 2020 (PPI-OT): Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad, President of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has claimed that the internet restrictions imposed in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir since 5th August, last year, and then the military siege, have caused an economic loss of Rs 40,000 crore in the Valley alone, and that more than five lakh people across sectors are now jobless.
Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad told media in New Delhi that the industries hit the hardest by the internet restrictions were tourism, transport and handicrafts. “Internet is a basic need and we have been deprived of it. During the pandemic, children are also suffering – even my children have online classes, and sometimes the video works on 2G and sometimes it does not,” he said.
“For export-oriented businesses like handicrafts, they rely on sending inventory files to clients on WhatsApp. You try sending files on 2G and see how difficult it is,” he said. The internet shutdown in Kashmir was imposed on 4th August last year, a day before the special status of the territory was scrapped. The territory got 2G internet access in January after the Indian Supreme Court directed the authorities to review orders suspending the internet.
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