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‘Naya J-K’: Ease of doing business in terror free environment opens up new vistas

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 5 (ANI): The digitally connected ‘Naya Jammu and Kashmir’ is reaping the benefits of ease of doing business in a more peaceful and terror-free environment.

Logistics and other challenges faced by local businessmen and exporters have declined as the government has worked hard to make things simpler and people-friendly.

Besides enhancing digital connectivity the helmsmen have ensured that people carry on with their daily chores without any disruptions like shutdowns, stone-pelting incidents and street protests.

The security forces have instilled a sense of security among the people by breaking the back of Pakistan-sponsored terrorists and the separatists, who had taken J-K, especially Kashmir Valley, hostage for 30-long years.

After August 5, 2019–when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate J-K’s special status and bifurcate it into two Union Territories–the government has been focusing on improving ease of doing business and is putting in all the efforts to put J&K among the top ranking States/UTs in the country.

The improved law-and-order scenario is allowing the business ecosystem to thrive and attract investors towards the Union Territory.

In 2022, Jammu and Kashmir’s administration received private investment proposals worth Rs 66,000 crore, while 1,455 industrial units started their operations,

After the scrapping of Article 370, a temporary provision in the Constitution of India, J-K’s industrial landscape has been transformed into a futuristic, profitable and sustainable ecosystem, leading to livelihood generation, better education, skill development and a better quality of life.

The industrial sector in ‘Naya J&K’ is focusing on job creation, entrepreneurship, promotion of institutional readiness, increasing business opportunities and attracting investments.

Recently, the Centre approved the ‘New Industrial Development Scheme,’ with an outlay of Rs 28,400 crore to encourage investments in manufacturing and service sectors in J-K. The multiplier effect of industrial transformation is visible across the Himalayan region, which witnessed Pakistan-sponsored terrorism for three decades.

New investors coming forward to invest in Jammu and Kashmir are being assured that they need not worry as the ground situation has improved, terrorism is on its last legs and the era of uncertainty and chaos has ended.

Pertinently, during the past two years over 400 start-ups in e-commerce, horticulture, agriculture, food industry and crafts have been registered in the Union Territory. Many have started functioning and more are in the offing. Each start-up employs around 10 to 100 youth. The government provides Rs 12 lakh grants for start-ups and the banks have been directed to encourage young entrepreneurs.

The banking sector has emerged as a backbone of ‘Naya J-K’s’ growing economy as it has enhanced lending to promote entrepreneurship among youth, women and people from marginalised sections of society.

The financial institutions are providing seamless credit to potential entrepreneurs to facilitate the dreams of aspiring society. They are also putting in dedicated efforts to ensure that the government benefits directly reach farmers, self-help groups and others.

The ‘citizen’s portal for government-sponsored schemes’ prepared by J-K Bank is in its final stage and once it becomes operational it will ensure that all the banks operating in J-K extend all the benefits of government schemes to the eligible beneficiaries.

The portal will enable a citizen to apply for any government-sponsored schemes directly online and check the status of his/her application instantly.

With an aim to promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Vocal for Local’ and an emphasis on ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat,’ buyer-seller meets are being organized in the Union Territory.

Recently, the Jammu Kashmir Trade Promotion Organization (JKTPO), under the aegis of the Department of Commerce & Industry, in association with the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) organized an international buyer-seller meet for the local agricultural and food processing sector of J-K in Srinagar. More than 120 sellers from the UT participated in the event.

The JKPTO besides providing marketing and business opportunities to the sellers has been organizing trade fairs, exhibitions and buyer-seller meetings. Many such events have been planned for the coming year.

The recent meet was organized with the purpose to bring local entrepreneurs close to international buyers. The government is putting in all the efforts to harness the immense potential of produce from J-K by extending its market from the national to the international level.

The world-class quality of J-K products and the craftsmanship of the Union Territory are being presented before the world. Buyers from different countries have become partners in the growth story of Jammu and Kashmir.

The buyer-seller meets are helping in forming new strategic partnerships and assisting in developing market linkages, business leads and networking for boosting trade and exports of J-K agri and food processing products.

J-K products like Honey, Saffron, Basmati Rice, walnuts, fresh fruits, and processed food like juices, jams, bakery etc have already carved a niche in the national and international markets and their demand is picking up constantly.

The New Central Sector Scheme (NCSS) package announced by the Centre is all set to give a boost to investments in J-K as it offers attractive financial incentive packages with a high return on investment and less input cost. In addition to the incentives provided by the New Central Sector Scheme, the investor can avail of incentives offered by industrial policy and the other sectoral policies notified by the government.

Gone are the days when J-K was a “conflict zone” where no business activity could be planned or carried out. The Article 370 instead of providing so-called special privileges to the J&K denizen acted as the biggest impediment to its growth and development. No national or international company could buy any immovable property in J-K till 2019. The terrorism and other law and order problems kept the investors away from J-K as no one wanted to invest in a place where terrorists and the separatists decided when the markets would open and close, and which industry would run.

J&K’s younger generation had nothing to look forward to. It had no idea about start-ups. There was no corporate sector, which could provide them with jobs and training.

In ‘Naya J-K’ many youngsters have started their own ventures and the arrival of the corporate sector is helping in addressing the unemployment problem.

Till Article 370 was in vogue J&K had nothing to offer to its own people and the outsiders. Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the regime “bit the bullet” in 2019 and changed the 70-year-long status quo of the Himalayan region by merging it completely with the Union of India and changed the destinies of the common people. (ANI)

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