JK Passing Through Difficult Phase: Govt12 October 2010
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Government on Tuesday said that state was going through a difficult phase which has badly hit the industry particularly in Kashmir. “The 20 years of turmoil had created lot of problems for industry. However the government was putting its efforts to bring the industry back on track. But the troubled times have re-visited the state again,” said Minister for Industries and Commerce, SS Salathia, at a function organized by SICOP here to allot plots to 39 prospective entrepreneurs to set up Small Scale Industrial units at Zakura Silk-Handicraft Park. He said the prevailing situation had left its impact on state industry. “If situation is bad in Kashmir, the industry in Jammu is bound to suffer and vice-versa. The industry is slowly growing up in Jammu and we were expecting big corporate houses to invest in Kashmir. But situation has left its impact,” said Salathia. Salathia said the Government of India’s decision to withdraw midway the industrial package extended to the state in 2002 had cost tens of crores to JK. “We were hopeful that the industrial package would attract an investment of more than Rs 10,000 crore. However, the package which was to last till 2012 was withdrawn by the Center in 2008 though we were able to attract Rs 3,000 cr investment,” said Salathia. However he said after Omar Abdullah-led government took over the reins of the state, the matter was taken up with the Prime Minister’s Office and authorities concerned in New Delhi and the package was extended up to 2020. He said government was committed to help the unemployed youth who were willing to secure their career in industrial sector. “Whether investment comes from outside or not, government will extend all the possible help to prospective entrepreneurs,” he said. Government was endeavoring to provide all the incentives available under Central and State Industry Policies to the investors which would prove helpful in tackling the unemployment problem, Salathia said. “Local investors would be given priority with all incentives. Strict instructions have been issued to the authorities to expedite the registration and other processing formalities within the stipulated time.” Salathia stressed the Park which has been developed by SICOP under a centrally sponsored scheme over 109 kanals, should come up in an attractive pattern. The units would be dealing in reeling, twisting, weaving, warping, yarn dying and fabric processing in integrated manner. Speaking on the occasion, MLA Hazratbal, Mustafa Kamal, rued the decline in the silk production in state over the years. “There was a time when 40 per cent of revenue for the treasure of the Maharaja would come from silk production in Kashmir before partition. But the silk and other industries are on the verge of extinction now.” He said due to the prevailing situation in Kashmir, 50,000 employees have been laid off by different institutions in private sector. Commissioner-Secretary Industries and Commerce, Umang Narula, said government would closely observe functioning of estate and explore all possibilities for making the state industrially vibrant. He said the project has been completed at a cost of Rs 10 crore within the stipulated time. Speaking on the occasion, Managing Director SICOP, RK Razdan said a separate land portion has been reserved in the park for development of Handicraft sector comprising of 38 plots. President, Federation Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Shakeel Qalander and its General Secretary, Afaq Qadri were also present. Qalander spoke at length over the status of the industry, particularly in Kashmir. He dwelled on the steps needed to be taken by the state government to help review the industry in the region and the role which should be performed by the entrepreneurs and industrialists.