Emaar group to invest Rs 500 cr in J&K, LG lays Mall of Srinagar foundation

LG Manoj Sinha along with officials and delegates at India-UAE Investors Meet at SKICC Srinagar on Sunday. -Excelsior/Shakeel
LG Manoj Sinha along with officials and delegates at India-UAE Investors Meet at SKICC Srinagar on Sunday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

FDI will fuel economic growth in UT: Sinha

Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR, Mar 19: Emaar Group of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) made its formal entry into Jammu and Kashmir with the foundation-laying ceremony of a mega-mall project in Srinagar today.

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The project includes the building of a mega-mall- Mall of Srinagar-, and a multipurpose tower. Emaar will pump in a total investment of Rs 500 crore.
The construction of the mega-mall will cost Rs 250 crore, Sinha told reporters. He said the project envisages the creation of over 10,000 jobs in the Valley.
“The Mall of Srinagar and allied projects with the Government of Dubai will fuel the economic growth of J&K and bring us closer to achieving the shared vision of strengthening bilateral trade and investment ties between India and UAE.
“This is a new dawn of limitless possibilities. We are taking forward PM’s vision for development of J&K. Mall of Srinagar will have transformative impact on UT & boost infrastructure, employment generation and ease of living,” he said.
“This is to be one of the largest malls in the region, the mall will have over 500 shops,” he said.
The LG said the credit for the strong ties between UAE and India goes to the strenuous efforts of the Prime Minister.
Sinha highlighted the progressive reforms introduced under the guidance of the PM to create a favourable environment for Industries and Business to flourish in J&K.
“Unprecedented Industrial investment & economic growth of J&K is laying the foundation for a stronger and more prosperous future for the people of Union Territory.
“Within 22 months of implementation of New Industrial Policy, we have received investment proposals from more than 5,000 domestic and foreign companies. Every day, eight companies have expressed their willingness to invest in J&K,” he said.
“A new industry is becoming operational in the UT every day. Last month, 45 industries started their operations”, he added.
He further said that the Prime Minister has already done the ground breaking ceremony for projects worth Rs 38,000 crore.
“In the last three years, we have registered phenomenal growth in different sectors and in terms of knowledge, physical and digital connectivity, Jammu and Kashmir has performed exceptionally well in the entire country,” he added
He invited the Industry leaders from across the world to be a part of the new industrial revolution of Jammu Kashmir.
“We have broadened the economic and social base of development and are offering best incentives across the country, land for industries, skilled labour, technical support, market connectivity, national and international air cargo facilities, raw materials, cheapest power, lowest crime rate, single window clearance, ease of doing business, he observed.
Amit Jain, CEO Emaar said the Mall of Srinagar is one of our milestone projects and we are excited about the potential of it. “As Emaar group, we bring along strong relationships with leading retail brands of UAE, most of which will be launching their presence in India through this initiative,” he added.
He said the Emaar Group will develop One IT tower at Jammu and One at Srinagar. They will come up at a cost of Rs 250 crore.
The mega-mall is the first significant FDI investment in Jammu and Kashmir to facilitate investments in marquee projects as per the MoU signed between the governments of the UAE and India. Launched by Emaar and Magna Waves Buildtech, the mall is set to become operational by 2026.
The LG later addressed the India-UAE Investment Summit and interacted with the business delegates from UAE and across the country at the SKICC.
Sinha said the J&K has made impressive progress with structural reforms in recent years and growth trajectory makes the UT an attractive investment destination.
“We have been successful in removing the impediments and hurdles to great extent. We are upgrading our infrastructure both in capacity and quality to meet new demands and ready to raise our partnership with industries to higher levels,” he said in his address.
“The path of reforms that we have embarked upon in the last three years is the outcome of a well-considered long-term comprehensive strategy to provide a conducive investment climate for domestic and foreign investments in J&K,” he added.
He said, the India-UAE Investor meet was a unique opportunity for free and frank exchanges of views on issues and opportunities for investment in J&K. He appreciated the enthusiasm and faith of foreign investors in the resilience of UT of J&K.
The LG invited the business leaders from UAE to become partner in development of J&K and move together towards creating a more prosperous, equitable and vibrant UT. “We will ensure the investors receive every kind of assistance, facilitation and support from the administration,” he said.
“Our Agriculture Sector is growing rapidly, driven by growth in allied sector and adoption of modern technology like GI tagging for premium crops. The investors will find attractive opportunities in food processing industries, which are also beginning to emerge as an important segment of the industrial development,” he said.
“We are working with the right intend and have developed the infrastructure needed for industries. This has infused new confidence in foreign investors and will lead to the J&K’s economic growth, increasing employment and creating a peaceful environment,” he added.
“J&K is witnessing a new technological revolution and we have started two Innovation and Invention centres where well-trained faculties and IT professionals are preparing future knowledge workers who will be the main force of Industry 4.0 to provide much needed human resources for the emerging market,” he added.
He assured the investors that the land will be allocated within 15 days from the submission of the proposal. He said that there will be no bureaucratic hurdles.
“The UT Government is also willing to utilize the technological expertise of other states in our various projects like developing Yatri Niwas of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board,” he added.
The LG expressed gratitude to Dr. Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai. He said an officer will be appointed and remained in touch with the Council.
Faizal Edavalath Kottikollon, Chairman UIBC-UC and KEF Holdings and Major General (retd) Sharafuddin Sharaf, Vice Chairman UIBC shared their views on the emerging investment opportunities in J&K.
Faizal said that they are keenly working with the J&K government for investment and will be bringing a world class climate wellness resort in Jammu Kashmir in the same pattern as he is running in Kerala. He said that the group will invest Rs 250 Crore initially.
Sharaf told Excelsior that they are keen in investing in J&K. He said that the industrial policy of the J&K government looks attractive and they are studying it. “They are giving lot of incentives and we will see and how to work on it,” he added.
The Bollywood actor and industrialist Vivek Oberoi told Excelsior that Kashmir has a tremendous potential wherein investments can be made in its hospitality sector.
He said Kashmir youth are by birth fully acquainted with the hospitality sector. “When people from different parts of India come here, Kashmiris treat them with a nice manner. The way they love and treat their guests is an inherent trait of Kashmiris,” he said.
He said Kashmiri people are charming and friendly and they can do really well in hospitality sector because it’s the right time.
The Bollywood actor said that his company, iScholar, an EdTech start-up, will invest in the education space in J&K.
He said the idea is that a significant number of Kashmiri youth go to Mumbai, Delhi, or Kota to study if they want to prepare for medical school or IIT, then, “why can’t we bring the best teachers here to form an emotional connect with these students.”
Eminent dignitaries, including Kailash Vijayvargiya, National General Secretary of BJP; Dr. Aman Puri, Consul General of UAE; RR Bhatnagar, Advisor to Lt Governor; Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary and Nikhil Nanda, MD of Magna Waves Buildtech were present.

‘Anti-encroachment drive to continue’
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today said the drive to evict illegal occupants of state land in Jammu and Kashmir will be resumed and the recovered land used to fuel industrial revolution in the Union Territory.
“We took the lands. Let me make it clear that we will take back all State land. The State land must remain with the Government,” Sinha said at the foundation-laying ceremony of first FDI project in J&K at Sempora here.
The Union Territory administration launched the eviction drive in January this year but had to stop it following protests.
Sinha said the retrieved land will be used for driving industrial revolution and creating facilities for people.
“The big tracts of land will be given for setting up industry. The smaller plots will be used to create facilities like play fields. The small patches of land will be used as burial ground for poor people who don’t even get land for last rites,” the LG said.