The Jammu and Kashmir administration has approved implementation of “New Industrial Policy 2021-30” and its procedural guidelines with effect from April 1.
The experts stated that the new policy is different from the policies that were announced earlier as it has opened up J&K to the world.
According to the policy, all industrial units coming into commercial production from April 1 as well as the existing units undertaking substantial expansion, shall be entitled for incentives under this policy while the existing units eligible for incentives under the erstwhile Industrial Policy 2016 shall be allowed to avail the same under the old policy till March 31, 2026.
The policy is the largest incentive to date, intending to spend an outlay of Rs 28,400 crore on the industrial development of Jammu and Kashmir for the next 15 years.
The policy is expected to generate an investment of Rs 20,000 crore and employment of 4.5 lakh over the plan period, the experts said.
This is the first block-level development project that intends to undertake the process of industrialization at the very grassroots level using the local resources, skill, and talent available domestically.
There is no bar for the outsiders to come and invest in the Union Territory.
Since the day J&K’s special status has been abrogated,Amore than 40 companies have come forward with the investment proposals and the government has accepted more than 30 proposals upto the tune of Rs 1,500 crore.
The companies that have come forward Aare from various fields like renewal energy, hospitality, defence, tourism, skill, education, IT & technology and infrastructure.
Baseer Ahmad Khan, Advisor to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, exhorts to prioritise the aspirations of the entrepreneurs while putting in concerted efforts for making J&K the most investor friendly Union Territory.
He emphasised on the need to encourage and facilitate people who want to join the wagon of the industrial sector in J&K.
“The land development and allotment policy has given a shot in arm of the industries department and will pave way for a lot of activities in the industrial sector in the UT,” Khan said.
The administration is pushing for to make single window clearance facility apriority as it would promote Ease of Doing Business by streamlining different processes and approvals required to establish and operate a business.
No role of separatists to the policies
Earlier, the separatists used to call shots in Kashmir. Their writ used to prevail. Whenever, any plan for the development used to be put forward they used to threaten agitation and the rulers used to follow their diktats at the pretext of maintaining normalcy.
In March 2016, the dispensation led by then J&K Governor N.N. Vohra had approved the industrial policy for J&K and had added a specific clause that stated: “In case of private promoters from outside (non-state subjects), JK SIDCO, SICOP may with the prior approval of the State Government acquire land through district collector on behalf of the private promoter with the cost of the land and the agency charges as may be determined provided in full by the promoter and lease it out on long term basis for 90 years on mutually agreed terms and conditions.”
But after the PDP-BJP coalition took over the reins of J&K,Ait withdrew the clause in the State Industrial Policy which allowed non-locals to acquire land on large scale in J&K for developing private industries.
The clause was withdrawn after the separatists groups had announced to launch a campaign against the policy while the opposition had termed it a “direct attack” on the special status of J&K.
The then government had succumbed under pressure and withdrawn the provison.
“In partial modification of government order para 2.11.2 of Industrial Policy-2016 shall be deemed to have been deleted ab-initio,” the order had stated.
Kashmiri businessmen welcome new policy
Jammu and Kashmir Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) – an amalgam of top notch industrialists in the Valley- welcomed the “New Industrial Policy 2021-30” and stated that it has infused hope among the entrepreneurs.
“The new industrial policy has included various new sectors in the positive list and focus sector. It has been expanded, including tourism, hospitality, health, education, renewable energy etc. in addition to subsidy on genset to tune of 45 lakhs and 60A percent on pollution devices. The 30 per cent subsidy on quality certificates & automation also 50 per cent subsidy on green environment protection initiative has been provided,” said, FCIK president Shahid Kamili.
The FCIK president appreciated the government for fixing a timeline of approval of cases at different levels.
“This reflects the seriousness of the government in reviving the industry in J&K. The turnover based incentives and SGST reimbursement will ensure accountability and to promote genuine entrepreneurs,” he added.