Developing new industrial estates in J&K

Jammu and Kashmir continues to be akin to a region which is industrially backward. The fact that both in Kashmir division as well as in Jammu division, many industrial estates are not only established but are functioning as well cannot be disputed. It also is an admitted fact that thousands of people in one way or the other, are engaged in earning their livelihood in the established units. It also is a fact that there are many “entrepreneurs” who have even been allotted costly plots of land by the Government but they have neither started their desired entrepreneurial activities nor assigned any reasons thereof. Was the selection process faulty in such cases and this very trend lands many units later in trouble as the promoters are working half heartedly or disinterestedly. What is the concept and relevance of “universal amnesty” in such cases needs to be made known. We have no qualms about the facilities or concessions provided by the Government including establishing financial institutions including banks in or around the industrial estates to cater to their term loans and working capital needs.
Looking at the scenario from the other side, it also cannot be disputed that the UT of Jammu and Kashmir has a fragile eco system which is concomitant for promotion and sustenance of its ever promising tourism industry and ancillary business activities. That not only limits but puts the policy planners on an edge in choosing new such estates as also which type of entrepreneurial activities could be carried on in order to generate opportunities for self employment avenues. We have to take a holistic view looking to even many PSUs in Jammu and Kashmir are ailing and are not, as on date, any more viable financially. What are the reasons? Taking alibis of “due to militancy” cannot always hold any more water.
Certain questions are pertinent to be adequately but professionally addressed. What is it that our industrial units are not strong enough to perform better independent of the administrative protectionism and compete with their counterparts across the country. Recent decision to do away with the toll tax at the entry point to the Union Territory at Lakhanpur sent many a unit in the jitters as same goods from neighbouring states and UTs can and have reached the UT at comparative cheap rates rendering some units going astray commercially. When shall our industrial sector be strong enough to have level field to operate from and function in? Has any Government instituted a high level but professionally matured team of officers inquire into the basic problems being faced by these units and suggested measures and remedies? If there has been any, have their recommendations been given a deep thought to act upon ?
It is nice that one of the Advisors to Lieutenant Governor has very recently directed for framing a comprehensive mechanism to effectively promote small, medium and large scale industrial sector in the Union Territory. However, the entire gamut of promoting new industrial estates without addressing the main issues raised herein would be termed as half baked industrial policy pertinent to their successful functioning and reaching break-even point within shortest period to follow registering profits to match with the moratorium period of repayment of their loans etc. However, it does not mean that there should not be fresh concerted initiatives in rejuvenating the ailing units and at the same time, create new estates too to give boost to self employment via establishing new viable units so that among other things, the UT is regionally industrially well balanced. The Government has to be cautious regarding how best to utilise Rs. 100 crore and not spend in anyway whatsoever which the Central Government has earmarked for industrial development of Jammu and Kashmir.