Srinagar- Eid is only days away but the festive buzz is missing in markets across Kashmir and sales have been sluggish due to the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation, according to traders.

There has been a steep rise in prices of essential commodities. Due to this, people are not willing to spend much on non-essential items, traders said.

“There isn’t much economic activity owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has wreaked havoc on the economy and people,” Gulzar Ahmad, who sells ready-made garments at Lal Chowk, said on Friday.

People’s purchasing power has gone down due to the successive lockdowns in the wake of the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic. Inflation has also affected them.

“Inflation has touched new heights. The prices of all essential commodities have skyrocketed, which has burned a hole in the pockets of the common man. People aren’t ready to spend much on non-essential items,” the businessman said.

Javed Ahmad, who runs a crockery shop, said the markets are seeing lower footfall compared to the pre-Covid period and the sales are dismal.

The festive rush is also missing at bakeries and sweet shops.

“Not many such shops have seen brisk sales. If a customer comes, he usually buys less,” a bakery shop owner said.

Shabir Ahmad, a local resident, said due to pay cuts and job losses in the private sector, people are not interested in shopping for Eid.

However, the sales of sacrificial animals remained unaffected.  (PTI)


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