Updated: September 1, 2021 7:49:06 am
ONLY WHEN the youth in Jammu and Kashmir feel that people from across India are investing in the region and creating job opportunities for them will the relationship between Kashmir and the rest of India translate into one of heart, Home Minister Amit Shah said on Tuesday.
Shah made the statement while addressing industry representatives through virtual conference from North Block while launching an interactive portal for investment in J&K under the new industrial policy announced for the union territory.
“Today, from the bottom of my heart, I appeal to the industrial world to invest in J&K. Let us together move in the direction of making J&K the most developed region in the country. The development of J&K is not the responsibility of the people of J&K alone. It is part of our country, so its development is our responsibility as well,” Shah said. “Only when you go there and make the youth feel that people from different parts of the country are coming there and investing, creating employment for them, giving them opportunities, will it translate into a relationship of the heart.”
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised on the floor of Parliament that following the abrogation of Article 370 there would be a new beginning of employment and well-being in J&K. The new industrial policy was created after a comparative analysis of all industrial policies in the country and after studying all complaints on the portal, he said.
“I believe this will go a long way in fulfilling PM Modi’s promise to Jammu and Kashmir,” Shah said, elaborating that while under the new policy investments of Rs 24,000 crore had been committed, the government expected it to go beyond Rs 50,000 crore.
“The youth of J&K was forced to be dependent on government jobs… as industries could not invest in J&K. The biggest hurdle in this were Articles 370 and 35A. After their abrogation, an open environment was created and several opportunities for employment were created. India’s industrialists also want J&K to develop. By investing in J&K, they will not only benefit themselves, but also contribute to the region’s development,” Shah said.
The Home Minister acknowledged that investing in J&K had its risks as the remoteness of the region had an impact on transportation costs even as a new environment brought its own risks.
“But this industrial policy is addressing all these issues. There is provision for 300% refund for plant and machinery cost on GST for a period of 10 years. There are provisions for capital loan for plant and machinery, for working capital and for subsidy on capital investment. The most attractive industrial policy today is in J&K,” Shah said.
He said industries flourish in an ecosystem and that had been created by the government since 2019 through PM’s package of Rs 80,000 crore for the region and various other schemes. He said 17 projects of the 54 under the package had been completed, while 96% funds had been disbursed by the Government of India.
Shah said seven new medical colleges and five new nursing colleges had been approved even as medical seats had been increased from 500 to 900. He also said deepening of democracy through panchayat and DDC elections had deepened democracy in the region and development was now reaching grassroots level, which would all help industries.
“Several hydro-electric projects have been launched which will not only generate revenue for the administration but give uninterrupted power to the industry. The over Rs 9,000 crore [power] project will also irrigate more than 31,000 hectares of land. Development in agriculture will increase purchasing power. It will help industry,” Shah said.
He also underlined that J&K now had central cadre officers, who were going to stay in the union territory for long, and that Hindi and English had been included as official languages along with Urdu and Dogri.
He emphasised that issues of local industries had also been addressed. “There is subsidy on interest and a package of revival [for local industries]. But the environment that this policy will create will bring in a lot of ancillary industries and give them the opportunity to convert their industries into ancillary industries. Lakhs of youth are sure to get employment through this policy,” Shah said.
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