November 2017 News

'JK Needs Hugs And Help'

9 November 2017
Rising Kashmir

Srinagar: President of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Anil Kumar Khaitan said Jammu Kashmir needs hugs and help to generate employment and skill development training. Talking to Rising Kashmir on the sidelines of a conference organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Kashmir Chapter, Khaitan said, 'Jammu Kashmir needs help, this State needs employment, and training in terms of developing skills.' Khaitan, the Chairman of SNK Corp, took over as the President of PHD Chamber two weeks back. Stressing that instead of venturing into other sectors, Jammu Kashmir should concentrate on sectors it was strong in like horticulture, agriculture and tourism, he said the State needed to develop these sectors thorough technology investments for generating good returns. 'The main issue in Kashmir is to use existing resources for maximum utilization,' the PHD Chamber President said. 'There should be a proper roadmap and a proper strategy for implementing it.' Referring to unrest among Kashmiri youth, he said, 'Without development, an idle mind is a devil's workshop and there is a need to keep youth busy.' Terming Kashmir youth as 'very intelligent', Khaitan said they were making a mark world over. He said that was evident even among Kashmiri business who might stay at Srinagar but run outlets in places like Bombay, Delhi, Chennai, Los Angles, New York, and San Francisco. 'They have the entrepreneurial spirit and that now has to come out,' the PHD Chamber President said and promised all-out help to Kashmiri youth and entrepreneurs. Referring to the 'unwritten travel advisories' issued by states like Gujarat and Maharashtra to their citizens for visiting Kashmir, he said. 'Nobody wants to go into competition and Kashmir itself has to go to different states and tell them that the place is still relatively safe and that it needs investment sectors like tourism, agriculture and horticulture.' Calling upon State government and GoI to make the atmosphere facilitative for ease of doing business, Khaitan said, 'Ease of doing business will not happen before 2020 but now the government has finally woken up and is setting up ease of doing business centres in every district of the country.' He also downplayed the assertions of Finance Minister, Haseeb Ahmad Drabu that demonitisation had been done to curb stone pelting in the State and said, 'My perception is that is not the reality.' The PDH Chamber President also sought to play down the claims of NITI Aayog Vice Chairman, Rajiv Kumar that Jammu Kashmir was too dependent on GoI. On his recent visit to Kashmir, the NITI Aayog Vice Chairman had said Jammu Kashmir was too dependent on GoI and called upon the State to make its private sector strong. 'Jammu Kashmir needs a hug and we need to work together or this debate will go on for next 100 years and we won't be alive to see a good Kashmir,' he said. 'The focus has to be on economics.' Earlier, in his speech, Khaitan said he had been coming to Kashmir with his family every alternate year from 1961 to 1988. 'Kashmir is my second home,' he said. Informing that of the 1.25 crore population of Jammu Kashmir, 80 lakh people were under the age of 30 years, the PHD Chamber President said there was a need to generate jobs for these youth. He also called on taking Kashmiri women onboard and said the PHD Chamber was opening a women entrepreneur cell in every state while local chapters of the chamber would set up task force for empowering women. Khaitan said independence in times of interdependence was a Utopian concept. 'I will give extra attention to Kashmir and come here whenever I am called,' he said. 'Let us not talk much, and let us work together and see the results after a year.' The PHD Chamber President informed that the chamber would launch the PHD Ambassadors Club in New Delhi on November 20 and that, besides the retired Indian ambassadors, the ambassadors of the G20 would be its members. In the same connection, the PHD Chamber Thursday invited Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti to attend this function that would be inaugurated by Foreign Secretary, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. On the same day, the PHD Chamber would also open its first international office in Bahrain that would cater to the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Earlier, PHD Chamber's Kashmir Chapter led by its President, Mushtaq Chaya welcomed and felicitated Khaitan and other visiting members of PHD Chamber to the Valley at a function at Hotel Radisson (previously Hotel Grand Mumtaz). A galaxy of traders and business community of the Valley was present besides prominent journalists and civil society activists.