After the suicide attack on a central reserve police force (CRPF) convoy in Pulwama in February, various online shopping and courier companies have reduced their business volume to Kashmir and, at the same time, stopped cash-on-delivery facility for shoppers in southern Kashmir.
A senior executive of a courier company, requesting anonymity, said the decision was taken by big companies after the February 14 attack that killed 40 personnel of the CRPF and brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war.
“Due to unpredictability of the situation in Kashmir, companies are shying away from cash-on-delivery deals. The volume of business has decreased by over 50 per cent,” he said.
“Delivery to this pin code is currently not available for this item” displayed against an item while shopping online is a euphemism for ‘we won’t deliver’.
“Online companies have faced a lot of problems when the situation turns ugly in Kashmir. The orders get stuck. Neither are they delivered on time nor courier companies earn from them, which halts the business cycle,” the executive said. Over the years, online shopping has gained popularity in Kashmir. Around 20 courier services company delivering online products to customers are operating in Kashmir.
President Kashmir Courier Services Association ZahoorQari said no company at this moment offers cash-on-delivery facility to residents of southern Kashmir.
“In fact, no online shopping order is accepted from Pulwama district,” he said, urging online shopping companies to restore normal business to the Valley.
“Hundreds of youth are employed with these companies in Kashmir. So we have urged them to resume their operations at full swing so that there is no loss of livelihoods,” Qari said.