50 pc industrial production, sales down

Scope for new units has widened
Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, Sept 2: Nearly 50 percent production and sale of Industrial products have come down in Jammu region with imposition of restrictions in the State after abrogation of Article 370 and reorganization of J&K into two UTs.
Sources in industry said that the production as well as sale of industrial products has slashed down by 50 percent since August 5 after restrictions were imposed by promulgating Section 144 CrPC and ban on internet services in the State as well as telephone services in Kashmir valley.
Sources said the most of industrial units in Jammu region are dependent on raw material as well as sale of their products on Kashmir valley as there is no market for industrial products of Jammu outside the State in view of the products of local units being sold on cheaper rates outside the State like Delhi, Punjab, Haryana etc as there is no involvement of huge carriage charges for the same, sources added.
Sources said that neither any raw material for industries has come from Valley since August 5 this year after the restrictions were imposed there, nor any supply has gone there since that day as there is no contact of the industrial units of Jammu with the trading fraternity in Valley due to ban on mobile network and telephones in Kashmir.
Moreover, sources said the incentives given to industry by Government earlier have lost their relevance after the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the State as these incentives have reduced to one fourth only now. After imposition of GST on July 7, last year, no incentives were given to the new units established after that at local level, sources added.
Sources said the Government is making tall claims of generating employment with opening of new industrial units but how can they compete with industry outside the State when they will not be given any incentive to meet the challenge.
Even the Government is not acting on its promise of providing uninterrupted 24 hour power supply to industrial units in Jammu as they have started imposing power cuts of two hours and more saying the production from Baglihar Power Project has receded, sources said, adding this has also added to the woes of industrialists in Jammu.
Besides, the incentives offered by Central Government are only up to 2020 means only for six months now which is also not an encouraging sign for flourishing of industry, sources said, adding if Government really wants business and industry should progress in new UT, it should continue the incentives for next 20 years.
Sources said that to boost the industry in the State and for generating the employment, the Central Government should immediately thrust on setting up of Public Sector Undertakings in the J&K, like Railway Coach Factory, Fertilizer Plant , Defence Production Unit which can also boost the small industrial units.
Sources said prior to setting up of Railway Coach Factory at Kapoorthala in neighboring Punjab it was a sleeping village and now it has progressed leaps and bounds over the years.
Sources said that there is lot of scope for establishing sugar mill in Samba and Kathua belt as down side area of twin districts has a lot of scope for growing cane sugar which can be a raw material for sugar mill also. This will boost the farmers’ economy as well as help in employment generation, sources added.
Confirming this, Bari Brahmana Industrial Association (BBIA) president, Lalit Mahajan told Excelsior that the production as well as sale of industrial products have constantly decreased since there is no communication and no contact with the parties across the Jawahar Tunnel,. The stock has accumulated as there is no market available”, he added.
He said the industrial units are not getting vehicles as life has come to standstill in Valley and transporters are not ready to take risk. The working capital of industrialists has blocked and the parties are not in the contact of unit holders.
He said the J&K industry has limited scope and it needs incentives for flourishing the local industry to compete the industry outside the State, which sells the products on cheaper rates as there is no huge carriage involved in supplying the industrial products as compared to those being supplied from J&K. Hence for flourishing the Industry in J&K, Government has to give incentives to industrial units, he added.
Mahajan said that local units sell 60 to 70 percent of their projects in Kashmir valley and for last 21 day they are facing a severe problem as no supply goes to Valley nor any raw material comes from there.
He said there is lot of scope for industry in the Jammu region provided the Government takes proper interest in this regard. He said a new hope has come for outsider investors in the State after abrogation of Article 370 as earlier they had apprehension that they could not purchase land in the State nor could get the admission of their wards in professional institutions but now there is no such problem and this is a good sign for flourishing of industry, he added.
Maintaining that abrogation of Article 370 is a national issue, Lalit Mahajan president Industrial Association Kathua said industry in Jammu has suffered a heavy loss since August 5 as its production virtually came to halt due to non supply of raw material from Kashmir.
He said maximum waste paper and stones for production of cement used by industry come from Kashmir valley which has stopped now. This in turn has hampered the production, he added.
Moreover, the finished goods like boxes, cement etc which were mostly in demand in Kashmir valley have not been supplied for last 21 days across the Tunnel. This way the production has reduced over 50 percent , he added.
He said the GST is another problem for the industrialists here as after making the payments the returns are not given in time. There is a time frame for payment of GST but no time frame for returns which is a cause of worry to industrialists.
He said 50 percent industry is already closed in Jammu due to certain problems like GST. However, there is a hope that with the abrogation of 370 the Government will announce a good package for Jammu and Kashmir and expand the industrial sector here which will help in creating employment avenues for the youth.