Funds yet to be released for industrial estates in rural areas
JAMMU, June 17: Despite admitting that industries and commerce sector is directly associated with employment generation and improving economy of the State, the PDP-BJP Coalition Government has failed to honour key announcements made six months back for addressing concerns of the industrialists.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that in the month of January this year the Government had announced that much needed attention will be paid towards establishment of industrial estates in the rural areas across the State.
“Till now there is focus only on the promotion of industries in the urban areas and there has been very little fiscal intervention in the industrial sector in the rural areas”, the Government had stated while announcing Rs 10 crore for facilitating the setting up of industrial estates in the rural areas.
However, this announcement has not been honoured till date although it could have been translated into reality with just one stroke of the pen, sources informed, adding “the dilly-dallying approach towards setting up of small industrial estates in the rural areas is notwithstanding the fact that this step can create gainful employment as well as improve the rural economy of the State up to large extent”.
Moreover, while considering the importance of industries for employment generation the Government had announced incentive for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and industrial units to get themselves listed at SME Exchange and other Stock Exchanges in the country.
The objective behind this announcement was to help SMEs and industrial units to raise capital through IPOs or other market tools. “No step has so far been initiated to translate this announcement into reality”, sources said, adding “what to talk of providing additional money the Government has even failed to make available initial budgetary provision of Rs 1 crore”.
They further disclosed that no headway has even been made on the decision about providing freight subsidy to the industrial units located in the State and transporting their manufactured goods beyond 1000 kilometers outside Jammu and Kashmir.
The Government was to ensure notification of a suitable scheme in this regard but even discussion between Finance and Industries and Commerce Departments on this aspect has not been initiated till date, sources said.
In order to give a boost to the silk trade in the State, the Government had decided to provide suitable financial assistance for revival and re-commissioning of three projects-Woolen Spinning Plant at Solina in Srinagar with an estimated cost of Rs 5.56 crore; Spinning Mills Nowshera with an estimated cost of Rs 5 crore and setting up of silk factory at Bari Brahama with an estimated cost of Rs 10 crore.
“However, only an amount of Rs 1.50 crore has been released till date, which is grossly inadequate for revival and re-commissioning of these projects”, sources regretted.
In order to put Handicraft Development and Handloom Development Corporations on the path of recovery, an amount of Rs 5 crore each was announced for purchase of raw material and inventory upgradation. However, not even single penny has been released to these Corporations till date, sources disclosed.
“Making available announced funds would help these Corporations to clean their balance sheets and restructure their business operations as are underway in the case of Jammu and Kashmir Horticulture Produce Marketing Corporation”, they added.
For providing required support to manufacturing and marketing of carpets, an amount of Rs 5 crore to begin with was announced but the funds have not been released till date, sources said.
It is pertinent to mention here that keeping in view the fact that heritage craft of carpets is in the throes of a crisis and needs urgent attention, the Government had set up a Trade Working Group on revival of carpet industry.
The recommendations made by the Working Group are still under examination and announcement of Rs 5 crore was made pending a comprehensive plan for supporting the carpet industry.
“All this indicates that Government has yet not come out with a mechanism to ensure timely action on the major announcements not only in industries and commerce but in other sectors also”, sources said.