J&K export turnover to exceed Rs. 1,500 cr.
11 June 2007
New Delhi: With overall improvement in the law and order situation and normality apparently prevailing once again, Jammu and Kashmir is poised to attract over one million tourists after a gap of many years with J&K annual export turnover of handicrafts, sports and leather goods likely to exceed over Rs.1500 crore in the current year compared with Rs.1,150 crore in 2006-07. In a Vision Paper being prepared by Assocham on J&K further revealed that in the last fiscal, about six lakh tourists visited the Jammu & Kashmir valley. The State, in the first few months of 2007, received roughly about two lakh tourist arrivals and the expected tourist arrivals will exceed a minimum of 10 lakh by the end of March 31, 2008, said Assocham president Venugopal N. Dhoot, pointing out that tourist arrivals in the State in 2005-06 was less than three lakh. Given the present infrastructure, he said there would be no problem in accommodating the tourists. With the better law and order situation, industrial activity has started and its reflection has been noticed particularly in exports of various Kashmiri goods and their annual turnover in 2005 was estimated at Rs. 900 crore, which shot up by Rs. 250 crore in the following year and expected to go over Rs.1,500 crore by the end of the current fiscal, said Mr. Dhoot. The other areas in which the usual industrial activity will resume in J&K in large scale include exports efforts for fresh and dry fruits such as apples, almonds and walnuts which have already brought in a revenue of Rs.21 billion in 2007 as against Rs.19 billion of preceding year. With its popularity gaining in not only in the domestic and international markets, the area for saffron production might go up from 3,000 to over 4,000 hectares, said Mr. Dhoot.