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10-17-2019     3 رجب 1440

The cost of temporary internet shutdown

October 07, 2019 |

The prevailing internet shutdown in Kashmir has entered third month. The state government as well the centre have been defending the move to deny people of Kashmir access to information in the virtual world on the grounds that the situation remains precarious and internet may be used by “elements inimical to peace” to fan trouble. There is no reason to disbelieve this narrative. In past, we have seen how mobile and internet services were used to mobilize people and attract crowds to encounter sites which more often than not resulted in senseless bloodshed. In such a situation, anger among people only grows while alienation increases. By shutting down internet, the administration has prevented rumor mongering and saved precious lives. However, there is a flip side to this decision. While the dance of death, a permanent feature of life in Kashmir over the past three years since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, has been stopped, students, traders, entrepreneurs and even government is suffering. Recent media reports suggest the tendering process for various developmental works in Jammu and Kashmir, otherwise carried out through e-processes, has virtually come to a halt. Important public welfare schemes such as Ayushman Bharat that guarantees best treatment at private hospitals for poorest of the poor across the country, has been hit by the prevailing internet shutdown in the Valley. Besides, dozens of start-ups which are dependent on round the clock internet connectivity have shut shops, rendering hundreds of youths jobless. Many of these ventures have shifted their base out of Kashmir as internet continues to remain suspended. According to officials in the state’s finance department, the revenue collection under the GST regime has been adversely hit by the prevailing internet blockade. Although officials have not yet released any data, conservative estimates suggest that the revenue deficit for 2019-2020 is likely to be between Rs 5000-8000 crores. Also, businesses have come to a halt and it is likely that the traders of the Valley will not file returns on expected lines. Two peak months of summer when the economic activity is at its peak due to the influx of visitors and harvest season have been lost to curfews and strikes. This will cast a long shadow on the state’s financial health which will impact economic growth in the longer run. The saddest part is that the government has to fill up not only the revenue deficit in J&K, but trust deficit as well. Moving forward, it is not going to be an easy task.

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The cost of temporary internet shutdown

October 07, 2019 |

The prevailing internet shutdown in Kashmir has entered third month. The state government as well the centre have been defending the move to deny people of Kashmir access to information in the virtual world on the grounds that the situation remains precarious and internet may be used by “elements inimical to peace” to fan trouble. There is no reason to disbelieve this narrative. In past, we have seen how mobile and internet services were used to mobilize people and attract crowds to encounter sites which more often than not resulted in senseless bloodshed. In such a situation, anger among people only grows while alienation increases. By shutting down internet, the administration has prevented rumor mongering and saved precious lives. However, there is a flip side to this decision. While the dance of death, a permanent feature of life in Kashmir over the past three years since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, has been stopped, students, traders, entrepreneurs and even government is suffering. Recent media reports suggest the tendering process for various developmental works in Jammu and Kashmir, otherwise carried out through e-processes, has virtually come to a halt. Important public welfare schemes such as Ayushman Bharat that guarantees best treatment at private hospitals for poorest of the poor across the country, has been hit by the prevailing internet shutdown in the Valley. Besides, dozens of start-ups which are dependent on round the clock internet connectivity have shut shops, rendering hundreds of youths jobless. Many of these ventures have shifted their base out of Kashmir as internet continues to remain suspended. According to officials in the state’s finance department, the revenue collection under the GST regime has been adversely hit by the prevailing internet blockade. Although officials have not yet released any data, conservative estimates suggest that the revenue deficit for 2019-2020 is likely to be between Rs 5000-8000 crores. Also, businesses have come to a halt and it is likely that the traders of the Valley will not file returns on expected lines. Two peak months of summer when the economic activity is at its peak due to the influx of visitors and harvest season have been lost to curfews and strikes. This will cast a long shadow on the state’s financial health which will impact economic growth in the longer run. The saddest part is that the government has to fill up not only the revenue deficit in J&K, but trust deficit as well. Moving forward, it is not going to be an easy task.


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© Copyright 2018 brighterkashmir.com All Rights Reserved. Quantum Technologies

Owner, Printer, Publisher, Editor: Farooq Ahmad Wani
Legal Advisor: M.J. Hubi
Printed at: Abid Enterprizes, Zainkote Srinagar
Published from: Gulshanabad Chraresharief Budgam
RNI No.: JKENG/2010/33802
Office No’s: 0194-2451076, 9622924716 , 9419400056
Postal Regd No: SK/135/2010-2019
Administrative Office: Abi Guzer Srinagar

© Copyright 2018 brighterkashmir.com All Rights Reserved.