Ladakh UT formulates first ever Sustainable Industrial Policy to harness unique strengths

Aim to generate large scale employment avenues for youth

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Jan 21: In order to provide large scale self-employment opportunities to the youth, the Union Territory of Ladakh has formulated first-ever Sustainable Industrial Policy to harness unique strengths such as local resources and traditional skill-sets by employing modern technology. Moreover, agriculture, horticulture, wool and medicinal plants sectors will get key attention of the administration while implementing the policy.
The Ladakh Sustainable Industrial Policy and package of incentives and concessions have come into effect immediately, read a notification issued by the administration of Union Territory with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor.
The youth of Ladakh after completing higher education and training are equipped with various skill-sets but there is limited scope of employment in the region. Understanding the need for more employment opportunities in the Union Territory, the administration of UT Ladakh has made first ever comprehensive Sustainable Industrial Policy that will dovetail Union Government’s Industrial Schemes as well as various Centrally Sponsored and Central Sector Schemes of the Government of India for encouraging meaningful economic development in the region thereby providing opportunities for self-employment in the region.
Ladakh Sustainable Industrial Policy aims at harnessing its unique strengths such as its local resources, traditional skill-sets by employing modern technology and exploring economic opportunities where the region has an advantage. This would be done in line with its goal of achieving Carbon Neutrality.
The policy is aimed at creating congenial investment climate for existing business enterprises to grow as well as encourage new investment in the Union Territory and to ensure overall development of industries in the manufacturing and service sector. Moreover, the policy will promote integrated growth of the region, while preserving region’s ecology and maximize growth opportunities by optimum utilization of local resources.
An official of the Ladakh administration said that policy will help in realizing the potential of local entrepreneurship development and employment generation through skill development of the youth and stakeholders. Moreover, with this the administration will encourage exports of exotic products from the region to global markets and create market linkages and investment opportunities to nurture businesses in Ladakh.
The policy will further help in specifically addressing issues impeding industrial growth and ensure simplification of procedures, develop key industrial and social infrastructure, focus on human resource development, access to credit and market. Further, it will promote Ease of Doing Business by digitization of all processes, promote agri-horticulture and rural prosperity in accordance with One District One Product (ODOP) program of the Union Government.
Moreover, the administration is aiming to encourage production of consumer products at reasonable cost by taking advantage of strategic geographical location of the region and promote startups and entrepreneurship to create and generate local entrepreneurial base through support structure such as Incubation Centers.
As large-scale industries are yet not sustainable in the region owing to extremities of climate and remoteness of location, the objective of this policy will be achieved by developing the rollout for a promotion campaign for highlighting ‘Ladakh’ as a brand along with various facets and streamlining rules/procedures, digitalization of all clearances in a time bound manner to ensure Ease of Doing Business (EODB).
Further, there will be focus on creating and up gradation of existing and developing new industrial infrastructure such as CETP (Common Effluent Treatment Plant), common warehouse, Common Facility Centre (Testing, Tooling, R&D, Design Studio, Skill Development Centre) and discouraging polluting industries to assure a responsible eco-friendly environment and incentivize adoption of cleaner production technologies.
About the available resources, the officer said that Western Himalayan agro-climatic zone of Ladakh region is ideal for exotic vegetables, which are usually imported into India such as Broccoli, Chinese Cabbage, Zucchini, Lettuce, Bok-Choy, Celery etc and low domestic production volumes in India adds to increase in imports. Additionally, agriculture and horticultural produce such as buckwheat, barley, wheat, sea-buckthorn, apricot, apples, watermelon, etc. have immense market potential.
Similarly, majority of the finest wool in India is produced by Ladakh’s ‘Changthang’ region with an annual production of 46 tonnes of Pashmina wool and the administration will incentivize artisans, weavers and others in the various stages such as spinning, weaving, designing, product and encourage seamless supply chain management.
Likewise, Ladakh has rich medicinal flora and endemic diversity and these medicinal plants are used for the treatment of various diseases such as for kidney and urinary disorders, stomach problems and many more. “Scientific harnessing of the rich flora has immense potential that will yield good results and administration will encourage research and development, infrastructural facilities and incentivize entities in Ayurveda and pharma sector”, officer said.
Similarly, there will be enough focus on animal husbandry and tourism under the policy.