Srinagar, Apr 20 : Rains drenched valley plains for the third day in a row on Thursday, with traders expressing disappointment over a “50 percent” dip in sales, ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Mohammad Yaseen Khan, a senior trade leader and chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) – an amalgam of various trade bodies – told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the markets were struggling for quite some time now to gain sales momentum, but the rains ahead of Eid festival played a spoilsport.
“It is just not like that our sales dipped due to rains only; we have been struggling for multiple reasons,” Khan said. “However, we were hopeful of picking up good sales ahead of Eid, but the continuous rainfall adversely impacted our sales.”
KEA chairman said that ahead of the Eid festival, people mostly buy bakery and mutton products for which rains can hardly hamper people from coming out, but in other areas of the market, it made an effect. “The overall impact it made on sales is around 50 percent,” he added.
“Clothing, footwear, communication, and other items which used to witness good sales on Eid witnessed sluggish sales due to rains,” he said.
Mehraj-ud-Din Ahmad, general secretary of All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association told KNO that although the rains did not make any negative impact on their sales, the brief closure of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway impacted the supply of stock.
“On festivals, be it any situation, people come out to buy mutton,” he said, adding, “Rains did not make any such impact on their sales; however, a brief closure of the highway hampered the supply, and the stock which was scheduled for the day came another day.”
Bashir Ahmad, who owns a prominent telecommunication showroom in Srinagar, said they were already struggling to stay afloat in the market but that the incessant rainfall for the last few days dampened the market spirit.
“Rains prevented people from coming out and when there are fewer people in the market, there are fewer sales. Rains played a spoilsport. We were expecting good sales. It is just a helpless situation for us,” he rued.
As officials at the J&K’s weather department have forecast intermittent light to moderate rain at scattered places on April 20 to 22, the intermittent downpour started early morning on Thursday.
Haji Mohammad Aslam Mattoo, a well-known name in Srinagar, dealing with retail and wholesale footwear items, said the sale of their products is purely dependent on weather conditions.
“In view of the pre-summer and Eid festival, we had planned the footwear stock accordingly, but with this intensity of continuous rainfall who is going to come to the shop? What is to be used on a sunny day can’t be worn on a rainy day,” he said.
“The already ongoing works in the city have slowed down our sales to a large extent. Out of the remaining expected market, we only witnessed 30 percent of sales,” Mattoo said.
Meanwhile, the weatherman on Thursday predicted intermittent light to moderate rain at scattered places towards late afternoon and evening for April 21 and 22, and a decrease in precipitation, predicting mainly dry weather during the subsequent two days—(KNO)