SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir is emerging as the top most new investment destination across the country both for National as well as International investors.
The motto of Jammu and Kashmir Industrial Policy 2021-30, “Jammu and Kashmir- Tradition, Growth and Transformation”, epitomizes the transition that J&K is undergoing. It symbolizes the thrust given to turn J&K into a lucrative investment destination, keeping in view the unique socio-economic and environmental underpinnings of this Himalayan region.
The industrial landscape in the UT of J&K is dominated by MSMEs as it contributes about 8% to the GSDP and employs the largest number of people in services and manufacturing sectors. Around 25000 MSMEs that are operational in the UT provide employment to around 90% of the industrial workforce in the UT.
In this backdrop, the Jammu and Industrial Policy 2021-30 is a welcome change over the previous industrial policies of 1998, 2004 and 2016. With an outlay of 28,400 crores, ‘New Central Scheme for Industrial Development of Jammu and Kashmir’ notified by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Government of India (GOI), in 2021, is expected to provide impetus to J&K’s transition into an industrially advanced region.
J&K Private Industrial Estate Development Policy, 2021-30 has also been notified recently. Progressive reforms like GST linked incentive, Capital Interest subvention and Working Capital Interest Incentive have also been implemented. These policy interventions have started bearing fruits as investment proposals more than worth 50,000 crores have been received. These investments are expected to generate employment potential of 2.33 lakhs.
To further improve the industrial ecosystem in the UT of J&K, Single Window Approach has been streamlined with a view to improve Ease of Doing Business. Aimed at Minimising Regulatory Compliance Burden (MRCB), 130 services of J&K departments have been made online.
With fast-paced urbanisation witnessed in J&K over the past few decades, there has been a spurt in the demand for housing and commercial units. The regressive limitations before the repealing of Article 370 posed several impediments in the full development of real estate sector in J&K. To resolve this predicament, first ever J&K Real Estate Summit 2021 was held in which 250 top developers from across the country participated.
Moreover, GOI’s Model Tenancy Act has been adopted by the Government of J&K and portals for Real Estate Regulatory Authority and auction of the assets, allotment of dwelling units/plots of the J&K Housing Board, Jammu Development Authority, Srinagar Development Authority have been launched. In addition, MoU has been signed between Government of J&K and National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) for skilling 10,000 persons per year in seven trades in real estate under NULM (National Urban Livelihoods Mission) in Jammu & Kashmir.
The policy changes introduced in J&K were showcased to the potential investors at world stage during the visit of Lieutenant Governor of J&K to Dubai Expo- 2020. The Lieutenant Governor also inaugurated Jammu and Kashmir Promotion Week at the Lu- Lu Hypermarket, Dubai in which goods like GI tagged Saffron, famous varieties of apples, Kashmiri art and crafts, among others were showcased. MoU with Government of Dubai and other Global investors was also signed during this visit.
The road to industrial empowerment and comprehensive progress across several indicators in J&K is expected to present many challenges. However, with the overhaul of laws and rules, institutional support and competitive ecosystem being developed in J&K, it is expected that the bottlenecks will be resolved. J&K, in stark contrast with the economic isolation of the past, is very well poised to emerge as a regional and national investment cluster.