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What’s happened to promise of dry ports in J&K?: JCCI

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Jammu, Jan 21: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting Jammu and Kashmir on February 03, an industry body here Monday asked what happened to the project to set up dry ports initiated last year by Modi himself.

"It was last year in the month of February that the J&K government and Dubai Ports World in presence of Prime Minister Narinder Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi signed an MoU for establishment of the said dry port in Samba and Ompura in J&K," Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries president Rakesh Gupta told reporters here ahead of Modi's visit to Jammu on February 03.

After almost one year, the said project is seen nowhere as the land to be provided by the state has not been allotted till date, Gupta said.

"This dry port included warehouses, special storage solutions, stores and cold storage chain in addition to complete logistic solutions," he said.

J&K being a geographically disadvantaged state, the project will bring down the transportation cost and connect it with other centres for imports and exports as Dubai Port World already operates such facilities in 40 countries across six continents, he said.

The delay in initiating the project has resulted in immense loss not only to the business but also the common man, JCCI said.

"Thousands of crores of rupees of foreign direct investment, thousands of skilled and unskilled jobs have been lost. On one hand, the labour class is migrating silently to other states for want of jobs and on the other hand the educated youth of the state are unemployed and falling easy prey to the menace of drugs or migrating to other states for want of jobs and some choosing the path of violence and death, which is most unfortunate," Gupta said.

Taking a dig at the Central and State governments, JCCI said the sole 'one nation one tax' initiative of the prime minister has not seen the light of the day in the state as it was not implemented in the state.

"We question the collection of Rs 800-900 crore in the name of state toll tax at Lakhanpur, which at the end of the day is paid by the common man living in the state," he said.

The state toll tax has resulted in increase in transportation cost, hardships to drivers and cleaners, inflation and corruption, he said.

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