Rejuvenate Existing Industry To Reduce Unemployment In JK: FCIK/FOIJ


SRINAGAR: The Federation of Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) and the Federation of Industries Jammu (FOIJ) have jointly called for the revitalisation of existing industrial enterprises in Jammu and Kashmir to combat the growing unemployment crisis in the region. They believe that the existing industrial sector, despite its current distress, has the potential to offer employment to 500 thousand workers if rejuvenated.

In a recent meeting with Vikramjit Singh, the Commissioner-Secretary of the Industries and Commerce department, members of both organisations reiterated their commitment to this cause. The attendees included figures such as Shahid Kamili, Tejwant Singh Reen, Shakeel Qalander, Lalit Mahajan, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Meraj Ahmad Qureshi, and Zahoor Ahmad Bhat.

While acknowledging the government’s Industrial Development Scheme, which amounts to 28,400 Crores for Jammu and Kashmir, with the primary goal of job creation and skill development, the delegation pointed out that the process of generating new employment opportunities might take some time as the industrialisation proposals under the scheme were yet to be implemented on the ground.

However, the delegation emphasised the importance of simultaneously focusing on job creation through existing enterprises, which possess the potential to quickly generate employment opportunities. They highlighted that there was substantial infrastructure, worth billions of Crores, including buildings and plant machinery, in both the organized and unorganized sectors throughout Jammu and Kashmir.

Unfortunately, these resources were being underutilised due to various challenges faced by existing businesses. The delegation called upon the government to address these issues and unlock the full potential of the existing industrial infrastructure.

The delegation assured the Commissioner-Secretary of their commitment to employing up to 500 thousand individuals in rejuvenated existing industrial units within a short timeframe. They sought his support and recommendations to protect, expand, diversify, modernise, revive, and rehabilitate individual units, ensuring that the existing industrial sector operates at its maximum capacity.

The delegation also raised concerns about the viability of existing industries following the withdrawal of VAT exemptions, the abolishment of toll and entry taxes, and the withdrawal of price and purchase preferences. These changes, combined with post-COVID market volatility, had forced many enterprises to lay off employees in recent years.

Furthermore, the delegation pointed out the challenges faced by local units in competing with industrial counterparts from more developed states on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM). They called for mechanisms to protect and incentivize local industrial units in this competitive landscape.

The delegation also sought funding for the disbursement of the committed 3 percent “turnover incentive” under the policy, emphasising that any reduction in these funds would negatively impact the industrial community and erode trust in government policies and commitments.

Additionally, they requested clarification on the disbursement of SGST refunds by Commercial Taxes for units that had undergone substantial expansion and additional lines of activity.

The Commissioner-Secretary responded positively to the points raised during the meeting and encouraged the delegation to submit a comprehensive paper outlining their suggestions and demands for the rejuvenation of the existing industrial sector. He assured them that the government was eager to support both the existing and new industries to promote overall economic development and employment generation in the region.


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