Centre clears J&K’s much-awaited Industrial Policy, Rs 28,000 cr investments proposed

4.5-5 lakh jobs likely to be generated for youth
New Industrial Estates being set up
Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Jan 6: The Central Government is understood to have cleared much awaited Industrial Policy for Jammu and Kashmir which is aimed at inviting investments to the tune of around Rs 28,000 crore and will generate 4.5 lakh to 5 lakh jobs for the youth of the Union Territory.
“The Policy will bring industrial revolution in Jammu and Kashmir,” official sources told the Excelsior.
They said the Central Government has approved the Industrial Policy for Jammu and Kashmir which had already been cleared by the Union Finance and Commerce Ministries and Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade in consultations with the J&K Government.
Sources said this is the first major Industrial Policy for Jammu and Kashmir which will lead to large scale investments in the Union Territory from various parts of the country as well as abroad following abrogation of special status of the erstwhile State of J&K for which the Government has identified 24,000 kanals of land in different districts of the UT.
The Policy proposed lot of incentives for the industry to encourage them for investments in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Industrial Policy seeks to facilitate investments in J&K across various sectors by earmarking Government land for corporate houses to set up units and offering them a host of incentives.
The Policy seeks to set up ‘clusters’ to ensure that all resources are available in one place for industries looking to set up manufacturing and processing plants as well as services sector units like IT parks. Among the industries that have evinced interest in J&K are IT companies like Wipro, food processing companies and automobile majors like Tata and Ashok Leyland that are already present in the UT.
“Until now, industry had shyed away from investment in J&K as it was not allowed to buy land to set up units. The new Industrial Policy will seek to channelize investment into J&K across different sectors. This will bring economic development and help generate jobs in the private sector,” sources said.
“The Government proposed to set up new Industrial Estates in Jammu and Kashmir to ensure that industry is not confined only to rotational capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar but other districts of the Union Territory are equally benefited,” sources said, adding that land has accordingly been identified in other districts as well.
“Ease of doing business” is going to be the main focus of the Industrial Policy, they added.
As per the sources, various leading business houses from different parts of the country including Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, New Delhi etc besides some from abroad are in contact with the Jammu and Kashmir Government for investing in the Union Territory and their proposals will be finalized only when the Industrial Policy is formally implemented, which is now only matter of days.
Though the Jammu and Kashmir Government is expecting investments to the tune of around Rs 28,000 crore after implementation of new Industrial Policy, the investment could rise over a period of time as many Corporate Houses are in touch with the Government but wants their proposals to be delayed by few months in view of Coronavirus pandemic.
“The COVID pandemic has badly impacted the industry world-wide as well as in India. Many industrial houses have shown keen interest for investments in Jammu and Kashmir. While some of them are ready with their proposals, few others just want delay of couple of months waiting for the vaccination programme to start,” sources said.
Response to investments in Jammu and Kashmir has been very encouraging. In fact, it is much more than what was expected, sources said.
According to sources, the Government intends to spread the industry to various other districts of Jammu and Kashmir. In addition to existing Industrial Estates in the twin capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar, the Government proposed to create Industrial Estates in far off districts for which Kathua, Udhampur, Samba, Rajouri and Poonch districts have been selected in the initial phase while Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban and Reasi districts will be taken up in the next stage in Jammu region.
Similarly in Kashmir division, Baramulla, Budgam, Pulwama and Anantnag have been taken up in Phase-I while rest of the districts will be selected for development of industry in Phase-II.
Sources said nearly 30 percent of business houses among those who had shown keen interest for investments in Jammu and Kashmir during roadshows by the Union Territory Government officials in various States before Coronavirus pandemic broke out, are still in touch with the Industry and Commerce Department and the names include some big houses who planned to invest here.
It may be mentioned here that the Jammu and Kashmir Government had proposed to hold Global Investors Summit in Jammu and Srinagar in April last year but it was cancelled because of the Coronavirus pandemic.