Jammu and Kashmir have experienced a significant economic boost following the implementation of a new industrial policy, leading to noteworthy developments in investment and job creation. With an investment of nearly ₹25,000 crore, projects are currently underway across the region, utilizing a substantial land allocation of 11,861 kanals for approximately 1,767 industrial units, spread across both new and existing industrial zones in the union territory. The impact of the new industrial policy on employment is remarkable, with 1, 09,570 job opportunities created, showcasing the positive outcome on the employment landscape. The financial year 2022-23 witnessed a historic investment level of ₹2,153.45 crore, the highest in the past decade, reflecting the success of the policy in attracting investments to the region. The momentum has continued into the current financial year, with a record-breaking ₹1,752.1 crore invested in just six months. Commissioner Secretary Industries & Commerce Department, Vikramjit Singh has emphasized the significance of the industrial potential in the region. He said that comprehensive information provided in the document underscores the commitment to fostering a robust industrial landscape. Singh believes that this resource will not only guide aspiring entrepreneurs and investors but also highlight the dedication to driving sustainable economic growth and development in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to data from the Industries and Commerce department, the recent implementation of the new industrial policy has had a substantial impact on employment in Jammu and Kashmir. Direct employment opportunities have been generated for 11,091 individuals, with an additional 5,582 people benefiting from indirect employment through subcontracting on the same project sites. The policy has also played a key role in the creation of 77,743 jobs through the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP). The transformative effects of the industrial policy are evident as 169 units have initiated projects with investments totaling ₹7,096 crore. These projects are poised to provide employment opportunities for 21,076 individuals, and these units are on track to commence production in the near future. The Industries and Commerce department has received an overwhelming response, with 6,231 investment proposals flooding in, reflecting a potential investment of ₹87,923 crores. These proposals have the capacity to generate jobs for approximately 3,92,162 individuals, marking a substantial and promising enhancement to the local job market. Additionally, the department has received premium payments from 1,072 units poised to make substantial investments totaling ₹14,940 crore. These units are expected to create employment opportunities for 72,874 people, making a significant contribution to the economic growth and prosperity of the region.
“The impact of the new industrial policy on employment is remarkable, with 1, 09,570 job opportunities created, showcasing the positive outcome on the employment landscape. The financial year 2022-23 witnessed a historic investment level of ₹2,153.45 crore, the highest in the past decade, reflecting the success of the policy in attracting investments to the region. The momentum has continued into the current financial year, with a record-breaking ₹1,752.1 crore invested in just six months”
In a major move, the Central Government has unveiled its largest-ever package through the New Central Sector Scheme (NCSS), earmarking a substantial financial allocation of ₹28,000 crores to encourage fresh investments in Jammu and Kashmir. This incentive program, offering a remarkable return on investment (RoI) of up to 400%, specifically targets Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to establish their units within the Union Territory. Since the introduction of the New Industrial Policy, the average investment per kanal of land has surged to ₹2.24 crores, measured by the land premium received. This marks a significant increase from the previous average of just ₹0.24 crores per kanal. The Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) has played a crucial role in this advancement, with 89,063 cases approved and ₹1,150 crores in margin money disbursed, resulting in employment opportunities for over 7,12,504 people since 2019. Initiatives to provide a land bank for industrial unit setups include the introduction of change of land use certificates (CLU), enabling a diverse range of industries and reducing dependence on government-owned estates. Private industry is actively developing 3,722 kanals of land through this initiative.
The establishment of 46 new industrial estates, covering 17,012 kanals of land, brings the total to 110 estates, with the engagement of Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) such as NBCC and IRCON to expedite the process. Additionally, six new industrial estates are slated for development by CPWD. In a bid to promote vertical expansion, the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) in the region has been increased from 0.61 to 1.5, and notably, no additional charges apply, presenting an enticing proposition for businesses. Moreover, the area boasts one of the lowest power tariffs for industrial units in India, significantly reducing the overall cost of conducting business operations. To facilitate project commencement, active land acquisition is in progress, with 20,794 kanals earmarked for new land and an additional 6,021 kanals identified for future development. Private industrial estates are anticipated to contribute an extra 4,400 kanals of land to support this expansion. In a strategic move to improve the business environment, Jammu and Kashmir introduced the Single Window System in February 2022, providing access to 182 online services. This system ensures timely service delivery, supported by the J&K Public Service Guarantee Act, 2018. Additionally, the region stands out as the first Union Territory to integrate with the National Single Window System, incorporating various online portals to streamline service delivery. Under the industrial policy, it is noteworthy that land allocations measuring 2,063.50 kanals, initially allotted to 104 units, have been canceled as part of the ongoing initiatives to optimize and refine industrial land usage.
Locals perceptive: Asif Amin, a local told Kashmir Horizon said that Jammu and Kashmir’s transformative industrial policy has truly turned the tide for us. The infusion of ₹25,000 crores in investments is not just boosting the economy; it’s creating tangible job opportunities for our community, he said. Another local Tariq Ahmad said that the significant land allocation for over 1,767 industrial units is a game-changer. It’s revitalizing existing zones and creating new opportunities, signaling a promising future for our region, he added.
In a strategic move to improve the business environment, Jammu and Kashmir introduced the Single Window System in February 2022, providing access to 182 online services. This system ensures timely service delivery, supported by the J&K Public Service Guarantee Act, 2018. Additionally, the region stands out as the first Union Territory to integrate with the National Single Window System, incorporating various online portals to streamline service delivery.
Kashmir Horizon View: The new industrial policy in Jammu and Kashmir is poised to bring about substantial benefits for the people of the region:
Job Creation: The policy’s emphasis on attracting investments (₹25,000 crores) and allocating significant land for industrial units (11,861 kanals) is expected to result in the creation of a considerable number of job opportunities. This is crucial for reducing unemployment rates and improving the economic well-being of the local population.
Economic Growth: The infusion of substantial investments and the establishment of new industrial units are likely to stimulate economic growth in the region. This growth has a cascading effect, positively impacting various sectors and contributing to overall prosperity.
Skill Development: The increased industrial activity and job creation will necessitate a skilled workforce. This could lead to initiatives for skill development and training programs, equipping the local population with the skills required for the evolving industrial landscape.
Infrastructure Development: The growth of industrial units often correlates with infrastructure development. The need for better roads, transportation, and other essential facilities could lead to improved infrastructure in the region, benefiting not only industries but also the general populace.
Diversification of Economy: The policy’s focus on diverse industries and the establishment of new industrial estates can contribute to the diversification of the economy. This reduces dependence on a single sector and makes the region more resilient to economic fluctuations.
Suggestions for maximizing benefits:
Community Involvement: Involve local communities in the planning and decision-making processes to ensure that the benefits of industrialization are distributed equitably.
Environmental Sustainability: Ensure that industrial growth is sustainable and environmentally friendly. Implement stringent environmental regulations and promote eco-friendly practices among industries.
Skill Training Programs: Establish skill training programs that align with the needs of the emerging industries. This will enhance the employability of the local workforce.
Infrastructure Planning: Plan for infrastructure development in tandem with industrial growth to avoid bottlenecks. Adequate transportation, energy, and water supply are essential for the success of industrial ventures.
Monitoring and Evaluation: Implement a robust monitoring and evaluation system to assess the impact of the industrial policy regularly. This helps in making necessary adjustments and improvements for better outcomes.
By prioritizing these aspects, the new industrial policy in Jammu and Kashmir can be a catalyst for holistic development, ensuring that the benefits reach all sections of the population.
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