Govt may exempt investors from taxes for 7 years

Centre to raise 4 new bns

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Sept 5: The Central Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started preparation of an ambitious roadmap for development of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, which will become two Union Territories on October 31, involving at least 10 Union Ministries which included exemption from taxes for the investors for seven years and raising of additional battalions of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).
“Officials of 10 Ministries were working round-the-clock to finalize roadmap for development of two Union Territories which will be finally announced by the Central Government anytime before the two UTs come into existence,” official sources told the Excelsior.
A significant decision proposed by the Finance Ministry included exemption from taxes for seven years to the investors who will invest in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Exemption in taxes for seven years was part of the Central Government plan to ensure massive investments in both the new Union Territories to develop them and ensure massive employment opportunities, sources said, noting that two BJP-ruled State Governments of Maharashtra and Karnataka have already announced that they will construct resorts, hotels and tourism centres in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The Central and State Governments were confident that once the situation returned to normal completely, large number of private players will come forward for investments in both the Union Territories, where there was vast tourism potential.
In another significant plan for the two Union Territories pertaining to the Union Home Ministry, the Government is likely to accord sanction to raising of one battalion each of Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
“This will give employment to 4000 youth,” sources said.
The State Government has already announced 50,000 Government jobs for the youths of Jammu and Kashmir which will be filled in next two to three months.
According to sources, the Union Power Ministry is working on a blueprint for low tariff rate in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh while the Union Ministry of Renewable Energy is set to install solar energy plants in Ladakh.
As large number of people in the State are engaged in the business of fruit growing, the Central Ministry of Food Processing is working on long term plan to create better opportunities for fruit growers.
With tourism being backbone of the economy in both the upcoming Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the Tourism Ministry of the Central Government is working on new ways and means to make Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, which are presently three regions of the State, more attractive for tourists so that local people can make it a primary source of income.
In this connection, not only the Tourism Ministry of the Government of India or other State Governments but private players will also be encouraged to invest heavily for attracting tourists from within the country as well as abroad. This will also generate large scale employment opportunities for the local people, they said.
“The Human Resources Development Ministry headed by Ramesh Pokhriyal is planning to open new schools and colleges especially with a view to promote technical education in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territories,” sources said, adding the Government was of the view that technical education will help youth in self-employment.
Harshvardhan Gupta led Union Health Ministry is focusing on health infrastructure and motivating top health sector institutions to open their branches in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, they said, adding besides upgrading existing health institutions in the two Union Territories, the Health Ministry will also encourage private players to extend their institutes to the two UTs to cater to the demand.
Various other Union Ministries, according to sources, were working on ensuring whatever possible their Ministries could do in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Recently the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had held a high level meeting in New Delhi which was attended by Secretaries of at least 15 Central Ministries in which a plan was drawn for development of two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.