SRINAGAR: Just days after the Central Government opened land of Jammu and Kashmir for outsiders, the J&K administration has transferred 24,000 kanals (3000 acre) of land to the Industries and Commerce Department for investment purposes while almost an equal kanals of land will be notified shortly following clearance from the Forest Department as COVID pandemic notwithstanding, at least 65 big houses are constantly in touch with the Government to set up their units, Daily Excelsior reported.
According to the report, the Government had kept a target of 48,000 kanals of land for inviting investments in Jammu and Kashmir following the abolition of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019. It included an extension of existing Industrial Estates as well as setting up of new Estates not only in the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar but also in other districts of the Union Territory.
“Of 48,000 kanals target, the Government has transferred 24,000 kanals land to the Industries and Commerce Department in Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur, Samba, Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu region and Srinagar, Baramulla, Budgam, Pulwama and Anantnag districts of Kashmir division,” reported Daily Excelsior.
Commissioner/ Secretary Industries & Commerce Department Manoj Kumar Dwivedi told the Excelsior that 24,000 kanals of land has been transferred to the Industries and Commerce Department by the J&K Government while remaining land is expected to be transferred shortly.
“For pending land, the No Objection Certificate (NOC) of Forest Department is pending,” newspaper quoted Dwivedi as having said, adding as soon as the NOC is received, this land too will be transferred to the Industries and Commerce Department.
He added that despite COVID pandemic, a number of big industrial houses were still in touch with the Department for investment purposes and negotiations with them are on. Hopefully, the outcome is going to be favourable for Jammu and Kashmir very soon, he said.
The Industrial Policy of the Union Territory Government is also in an advanced stage and is likely to be announced before the year-end which will further boost the investment in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources said the Industrial Policy is being given a final touch by the Government and it was expected to be rolled-out anytime in the month of December i.e. well before the end of this year.
“Ease of doing business” is going to be the main focus of the Industrial Policy, they added.
According to sources, the Government intends to spread the industry to various other districts of Jammu and Kashmir in addition to existing Industrial Estates in the twin capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar, to far off districts for which Kathua, Udhampur, Samba, Rajouri and Poonch districts have been selected in the initial phase while Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban and Reasi districts will be taken up in the next stage.
Similarly in Kashmir division, Baramulla, Budgam, Pulwama and Anantnag have been taken up in Phase-I while rest of the districts will be selected for development of industry in Phase-II.
Quoting sources newspaper Daily Excelsior reported that nearly 20 percent of business houses among those who had shown keen interest for investments in Jammu and Kashmir during roadshows by the Union Territory Government officials in various States before Coronavirus pandemic broke out are still in touch with the Industry and Commerce Department and the names include some big houses who planned to invest here.
The Government is confident that more business houses will line-up when the pandemic further eases as the industry is passing through a bad phase because of COVID-19.
As far as the Global Investors Summit which was planned for April this year is concerned, sources said the Government is waiting for the conducive atmosphere to decide fresh dates especially after the virus is further reduced.
The Summit was deferred after pandemic spread in March, reported Daily Excelsior.