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Dr G N Itoo holds ‘Chalo Kashmir’ Webinar with Maharashtra Tour Operators

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Says besides favoured destination Gulmarg, other destination like Pahalgam have huge winter tourism potential

(Asian News Hub) – Following the interactions with the Tour and Travel fraternity of Gujarat, Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir and the Maharashtra Tour Organizers Association (MTOA) on Friday organized a Webinar on the theme ‘Chalo Kashmir’.

The Webinar panel comprised of Director Tourism, Kashmir, Dr G N Itoo, Deputy Director, Tourism Publicity Ideel Saleem, besides Asif Burza, President Hoteliers Association Pahalgam, President MTOA, Prabhu Joshi,  Vice President MTOA, Vishvajeet Patil, Treasurer MTOA, Rajan Parekh, Ex President MTOA, Sudhir Patil, Ex Vice President, MTOA, Abhijeet Patil and others.

During the interaction, Dr Itoo presented the calendar of promotional activities slated for the upcoming Spring and Summer season both within and outside J&K including holding of Pahalgam Festival next week, Almond Bloom festival in Spring at Badamwari Srinagar, Tulip Festival in April and Houseboat Festival in the summer. He said the Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir is working together with stakeholders to ensure that Tourists arriving to Kashmir Valley have a comfortable stay. He said other than Gulmarg which continues to remain among the most preferred winter tourism destination, the Department is also focusing on promoting other destinations including Pahalgam for winter tourism.

He said this year destinations like Sonmarg, Doodhpathri, Yusmarg, Kokernag will be opened early, so that tourists coming in the winter season can enjoy the scenic beauty of these places too.

Dr Itoo also apprised about the measures put in place including those related to COVID to ensure that all tourists visiting J&K have a comfortable and a memorable stay. In response to some queries raised during the Webinar, Dr Itoo assured MTOA of prompt resolution.

Asif Burza, President Pahalgam Hoteliers Association in his address appreciated the efforts of the Tourism Department in the revival of tourism amidst the COVID Pandemic challenge. “Government was successful in containing COVID here and this proved to be the biggest confidence building measure for the tourists to visit Kashmir. The sustained and vigorous tourism promotional campaign started by the Tourism Department after opening of the tourism sector in July last year has been instrumental in tourists coming to Kashmir during the winter season”, he said.

The MTOA President, Prabhu Joshi and other members spoke about their long association with J&K Tourism and reiterated their unconditional support and said that J&K will always remain among the most preferred destination for the Tour and Travel fraternity of Maharashtra.

J&K receives among the largest chunk of tourists from States like West Bengal, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

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KRA seeks Govt attention, appeals for ensuring strict implementation of e-commerce policy

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Urges local buyers to buy goods direct from shops instead of online websites

(Asian News Hub) – The Kashmir Retailers Association (KRA) Wednesday urged the government to ensure strict implementation of e-commerce policy and appealed to the people to buy goods from local shopkeepers.

Addressing a press conference, President of KRA, Farhan Kitab urged the government to set up a monitoring mechanism for e-commerce and ensure strict implementation of its policy.

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) Correspondent, Kitab said that “e commerce companies are violating all laws of the country, adopting predatory pricing, deep discounting and controlling inventory, which has ruthlessly affected the retail sector.”

Also Read: Rats nimble infant’s finger at MCCH Anantnag

He further said “Kashmir sector has three lakh shopkeepers who have minimum of three employees at their shops. Therefore, approximately nine lakh people from nine lakh families get their bread and butter through these shops, which are getting affected by violations by e-commerce business units.”

“Online goods are being sold without e-quotes, due to which there remains a difference between online image and real product,” he further added.

Also Read: Kulgam girl’s innovate lid opener for chemical bottles bags national award

“Buyer is not able to check the manufacturing date of the product, that is indeed an illegal practice of the trade,” he said while appealing the government to check the goods from all entry points whether they are being transported with proper implementation of consumer policy.

Also Read: Four militants active in Srinagar: IGP Kashmir

“We appeal the people to buy products from local shops instead of buying from online websites,” he said.

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Major crypto exchanges buckle as Bitcoin crashes

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(Asian News Hub) – Amid Bitcoin’s flash crash on Tuesday, a number of leading crypto exchanges buckled under pressure, preventing retail investors from buying the dip.

The price of several top cryptocurrencies fell sharply on Tuesday, with Bitcoin losing over 9%. The value of the flagship crypto plummeted from $52,000 to $43,285. And as of press time, Bitcoin had recovered to the $46,000 region.

Ethereum also plunged from $3,700 to nearly $3,000, losing about 18% of its value.

In the heat of Bitcoin’s hefty slip, there was a surge of traffic to exchanges as investors thronged to either liquidate their positions or buy the dip.

Customers are often allowed to open massive margin positions on most crypto exchanges. Huobi and Bybit, for instance, allow customers to have up to 100x margin. What this means is that customers can access a trading value of up to $100 by investing $1.

The margin rates on crypto exchanges are significantly higher than those found on traditional brokerages and they can fuel volatility in any direction.

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Tesla to resume accepting Bitcoin after due diligence: CEO Elon Musk

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(Asian News Hub) – Electric-car maker Tesla will “most likely” resume accepting Bitcoin as payments after it conducts due diligence on the amount of renewable energy used to mine the currency, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said at a conference.

Musk’s comments at the B Word conference come after Tesla said in May it would stop accepting bitcoin for car purchases, less than two months after the company began accepting the world’s biggest digital currency for payment.

“I wanted a little bit more due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or above 50 percent, and that there is a trend towards increasing that number, and if so Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin” Musk said.

“Tesla’s mission is accelerating the advent of sustainable energy. We can’t be the company that does that and also not do appropriate diligence on the energy usage of bitcoin,” he added.

After the conference, Bitcoin was up 6 percent at $31,900, while ether surged 10 percent to $1,970. Tesla’s shares were down 0.8 percent at $655.30 in extended trading.

Musk added that he personally owned bitcoin, ethereum and dogecoin, apart from bitcoin that Tesla and SpaceX owned.

“I might pump, but I don’t dump,” Musk said. “I definitely do not believe in getting the price high and selling … I would like to see bitcoin succeed.”

Inputs from Reuters

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