Valley gets BPOs,Omar hopes it’s just the start

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday laid the foundation stone of Essar’s Aegis business processing outsourcing centres in the state.

Written by RIYAZ WANI | Srinagar | Published: February 11, 2009 11:36 am

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday laid the foundation stone of Essar’s Aegis business processing outsourcing centres in the state. The centres,to come up at a cost of Rs 100 crore,will be set up at Jammu and Srinagar and provide employment opportunities to 2,000 youths of the state.

For Omar,Essar’s decision has come as a huge political boost,given the fact that so far major companies have shied away from large investments in the state,despite making grand commitments to previous governments.

“This time it is for real. Essar is here not for any incentive packages. They are here for business and of course for profit,” Omar said in his speech. However,Omar cautioned that Essar’s success in the state was crucial not only for the better image of the state but also for Kashmir as an investment destination. “So,my Government and the people of the state have to ensure that Essar does well and becomes an example to be emulated by other businesses across India.”

Highlighting the fact that the BPO project came through less than three weeks after he addressed industrialists in Mumbai,Omar said not everybody was keen to come to the state.

“I know people have doubts about Kashmir even though they see the state as a promising investment destination. They want guarantees and incentives. And it is amidst this skepticism that Essar’s entry is huge and symbolic and holds in many ways key to Kashmir’s prosperity,” Omar said.

He said Essar-like ventures in other sectors was the only remedy for the soaring unemployment figures in the state. “The Government cannot recruit all. My Government will run fine even if I retrench two lakh employees”.

Speaking on the occasion,Aegis managing director and global CEO Aparup Sengupta said they had come to the Valley to create employment and train human resource. “We are proud to extend the opportunity to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to join the economic mainstream,” he said. He added that the Aegis BPO would have state-of-the-art facilities and the latest technology in line with other Aegis centres worldwide.

The first centre in Srinagar is expected to start operations in the next three months.

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