The Road Ahead: Massive investment plan for Kashmir

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New Delhi, Aug 18 : Following the creation of Kashmir as a union territory, the Union government is now focusing on winning over the people of the Valley.

Plans are on way to invite the leading industrialists to the Valley during the winter season and allow them to search for investment ventures in agro-food, fruit and tourism industry. Producers of film and TV shows are also being contacted to visit the Valley. Local youths would be allowed to interact with them.

During the NDA 1 rule of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, process of industrialisation had started and new industrial estates were set up. Before Vajpayee rule, HMT was established at Bemina on outskirts of the town, but soon it was closed because of militancy.

In March 2000, Narendra Modi, now Prime Minister, then BJP general secretary, had visited Chhattisinghpora in Anantnag district as part of an all party delegation following massacre of Sikhs.

Modi was genuinely concerned about the violence in the Valley in the year 2000 too and had inquired about the ways and means to bring the Kashmiri youths in the mainstream. Bringing in industrialists, Film producers, may be one of the steps in his schemes of things.

During Vajpayee period, the then I&B minister, Pramod Mahajan had invested for introduction of Kashmir, an exclusive TV channel for promoting local culture, music involving local talents. Kashir TV channel started at a rented house in Rahbagh colony.

Narendra Modi as Prime Minister in his first innings had sanctioned Rs 1.25 lakh crores special package for development of J& K.

Vajpayee government had framed an industrial policy for development of industries in the state. A team of officials of the industries ministry led by joint Secretary, S Jagdeesan had conducted three-days survey of different parts of the State , interacted with the local entrepreneurs, set up new industrial estates in Srinagar and Ganderbal.

However, post the abrogation of Article 370, the government would organize the first ever Jammu and Kashmir Investors’ Summit 2019 to be held between 12-14 October at Srinagar and Jammu.

According to Navin K. Choudhary, Principal Secretary, Industry & Commerce and Tourism Department, the government has decided to organize the first ever J&K Investors’ Summit to attract investments in various sectors of the economy of the state and to showcase Jammu and Kashmir as a favourable investment destination.

The inaugural session of the summit will be held at SKICC, Srinagar on 12th October while the valedictory ceremony will be held at Jammu University on 14th October. Both inaugural as well as valedictory ceremony is likely to be attended at the highest level of the country besides senior ministers of the union government, various secretaries to the government of India, representatives of other state governments as well as top industrialists and business groups of the country.

Besides, there will be wide range of technical sessions covering various sectors of the economy shall also be held. The J&K Trade Promotion Organization (JKTPO) will be the organizing agency of the state government for holding the Investors’ Summit and approximately 2000 dignitaries of industry and trade will be sent invitation and a very good percentage of them are expected to attend the Summit.

Despite short time available, the government has rolled out the mechanism to make the Summit a success. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has been roped in as the National Partner for the Summit and they will support the state government by way of making list available of Industry & Trade to be invited, holding road shows both within and outside the country and other organizational aspects of the summit.

The state government has already hired Ernest & Young (E&Y) as the Knowledge partner and Price Water House Cooper (PWC) as the media management partner through transparent bidding process. E&Y will be responsible to do the documentation of various policies, sectoral policies and other incentives available in the state.

Road-shows have been planned within the country at various states including Ahmadabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai. In addition, the road-shows will also be organized in countries like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London, Netherlands, Singapore and Malaysia.

The objective of holding these road-shows is to sensitize the potential investors regarding the opportunities available as well as support and incentives to be provided by the state government.

The State Government has identified key thrust sectors such as Horticulture & Post-Harvest Technologies, Tourism & Hospitality, Film Industry, IT & ITeS, Handloom & Handicraft, Agro & Food Processing, Manufacturing & MSME, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, Skills and Education.

There would also be ambassadors’ meet and a media meet at New Delhi next month to ensure wider participation in the Summit. The government will also try to reach understanding with respect to as many investments by various groups as possible.

Many prominent business groups have already shown keen interest and willingness for participation and making investment in the state. The Summit will also provide opportunity for business to business (B2B) and business to government (B2G) meetings which will result in various investment tie-ups. Like, exhibitions will be held to showcase the opportunities which the state will provide along with PPP projects to investors.

The wide raging consultations with various Ministries of Government of India including Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPI1T), Niti Aayog, MHA etc. has been held and full support has been committed for successful hosting of the Summit besides Invest India, an organization has been promoted by DPIIT has been asked to cooperate with the state government.