Known as the Switzerland of India , Jammu Kashmir is well known for its beauty with snow capped mountains, Sparkling lakes , lush green flowerbeds that make it to be the most beautiful place on this planet , However Jammu and Kashmir has never been famous for its infrastructure, Professional college educational institutions and job opportunities as there has never been viable extension of corporate sector . Thanks to the regional political class in Jammu and Kashmir , they never take interest in building the J&K infrastructure and job opportunities, instead they always fight for irrelevant matters and always promulgate two-nation theory. However the changes from Aug 2019 has created possibilities of development . It is witnessing tremendous development with new highways , educational institutions , state of art hospital facilities, resorts coming up in different parts. Now in order to Accelerate public spending , Encourage private investment and persuade Kashmiris to welcome it should be Govts roadmap for the economic development in the region/UT . Kashmiris now have great opportunity to turn this moment to their advantage and build a solid economy and infrastructure which was not there before, but to do so will require a significant change in mind-set And which is happening slowly .
According to many sources and India Brand equity Foundation , The following are some of the major initiatives taken by the Government to promote Jammu & Kashmir as an investment destination:
According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), cumulative FDI inflow in J&K was valued at US$ 0.21 million between October 2019 and December 2020.
J&K has an industrial policy that offers attractive incentives along with a single-window clearance mechanism. Land is allotted at concessional rates in industrial areas on lease for 90 years.
National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) is developing five tunnels in the UT at a cost of US$ 3.42 million. The tunnels will have all weather access and will be completed by 2024.
Total production of horticulture crops in UT in 2018-19 stood at 3.96 million tonnes with 414.47 thousand hectares area under production. The industry plays a vital role in the UT’s economic development. In 2019-20, total production of horticulture crops was expected to be 3,912.91 thousand metric tonnes and area under production was 400.25 thousand hectares. In 2019-20, the total production of vegetables and fruits was estimated at 1337.12 thousand metric tonnes and 2541.16 thousand metric tonnes, respectively.
In February 2021, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi inaugurated the second Khelo India Winter Games in Gulmarg with the objective of making Jammu and Kashmir a hub for winter sports.
In October 2020, construction work has started on the Zozila Tunnel at J&K. The tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity on NH-1 between Srinagar Valley and Leh (Ladakh Plateau) and will bring about an all-round Jammu & Kashmir economic and sociocultural integration (UTs of J&K and Ladakh). It involves building a 14.15-km long tunnel under the Zojila pass on NH-1, linking Srinagar and Leh via Dras & Kargil.
About 150,000 metres of silk cloth is produced per annum in J&K. During 2018-19(P), 118 MT of raw silk was produced in the J&K and had a production target of 170 MT for 2019-20(T).
In 2019, foreign and domestic tourist arrivals stood at 57,920 and 16.16 million, respectively.
On developmental works in J&K , Press information Bureau Govt of India mentions the following steps for the overall growth and development of UT of Jammu Kashmir.
The Government is fully committed for the overall development of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and has taken several steps in this regard which include:
i.Accelerating implementation of the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) that was announced on 7thNovember 2015 at a cost of Rs 80,068 crore. Out of 63 projects pertaining to 15 Ministries, 54 projects are being implemented in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir at a cost of Rs.58,627crore and the remaining in the Union Territory of Ladakh. These include projects relating to Road, Power, Health, Education, Tourism, Agriculture, rehabilitation schemes for Kashmiri migrants, Skill development sectors etc. Out of 54 projects, 20 projects are completed /substantially completed, and remaining 34 projects are at various stages of implementation.
ii.Government of Jammu & Kashmir has set-up Jammu & Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC) to raise loans up to Rs. 8,000 crore for completion of nearly 6,000 projects that were languishing for years. 2,367 such projects have been approved with an amount of Rs. 7125.49 crore and 800 projects worth Rs.997.27 crore have already been completed.
iii.All the flagship schemes of the Government of India including individual beneficiary centric schemes are also being proactively implemented in UT of J&K.
iv.The Central Government has approved a new Central Sector Scheme for Industrial development of Jammu and Kashmir with an outlay of Rs. 28,400 Crore to boost industrial activity while nurturing existing industries as well.
v.For setting up of new Industrial Estates in J&K, the Government of Jammu & Kashmir has created a Land Bank of 29,030 kanals during 2020-21.
vi.The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has approved business revival package of Rs. 1,352.99 Crore on 25th September, 2020 etc.
In addition to the above efforts, initiatives have also been taken by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir for the development of Tourism, Arts and Crafts Sectors, which include:
i.The new Wool Processing, Handicrafts
Handloom Policy, 2020 has been adopted for promotion and development of Handicrafts and Handloom sector.
ii.The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has approved a new Financial Support Scheme for each Cooperative/Self Help Group in the Handicrafts and Handloom Sector.
iii.The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has approved a new Credit Card Scheme for providing a loan to Artisans/Weavers with interest subvention of 7% for five years.
iv.MoU has been signed under ‘Samarth Programme’ to promote online sale of genuine Handloom and Handicrafts products directly by Artisans/Weavers.
v.Under the Central Sector Scheme ‘PRASAD’, construction of tourist interpretation centre at Dargah Hazratbal has been completed.
Jammu Ropeway has been completed and Phase-II of Jammu Ropeway from Mahamaya to Baghe-Bahu section has also been commissioned.
This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri G.Kishan Reddy in a written reply to question in the Rajya Sabha today.
( Analysis based on reports from Government, organisations , news channels and news papers ).
About Author :
Sajid Yousuf Shah is the CEO of Real kashmir news , National TV panelist and an eminent Social Activist and Dar Javed works with Creative Learning Washington DC USA on world bank funded projects in kashmir.