Right step in right direction

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Industrial Development Scheme

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday announced a new industrial developmental scheme (IDS) with a total outlay of Rs 28,400 crore to encourage new investment and to take industrial development to the block level. While announcing the scheme, Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha said that the scheme will go a long way in ushering an era of socio-economic development of the region and for catering to the aspirations of people. The scheme will continue from the period of date of notification up to the year 2037 with a total outlay of Rs 28,400 crore and will take development to the block level and promote far-flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir. Besides the scheme will provide employment to 4.5 lakh people besides leading to equitable, balanced and sustainable socio-economic development of the region. The scheme will provide a major support to local industry besides creation of new business opportunities.

The scheme is undoubtedly going to give fillip to the ailing economy of Jammu and Kashmir. The UT’s economy is in a shambles and it is not only because of the Covid-19 pandemic but due to the political uncertainty prevalent here from past three decades. Pandemic has further deteriorated it. The business community of J&K has all along been pressing for some sort of scheme having potential to give flip to the economy. Unfortunately the governments, that be, never took any serious interest in the issue and continued ignoring the plight of, particularly, small business houses and small scale industries. It is therefore appreciable that such a scheme has been formulated and will go a long way in boosting J&K’s economy. The potential of creating jobs for more than four lakh youth would be a game changer. Unemployment is the biggest challenges that Jammu and Kashmir is face to face with. In absence of a vibrant private sector, the educated youth are solely dependent on jobs within the government sector and for the government it is not possible to provide jobs to the all jobless youth.

While the announcement of the scheme is a right step in the right direction,  what needs to be seen is its implementation on the ground. On the paper it sounds very promising but given the history of Kashmir vis-à-vis such schemes some degree of skepticism among the populace is understandable. To implement the scheme in a healthy manner, the government need to end the red-tapism and make the scheme investor friendly. All the concerned agencies need to be working in coordination to avoid unnecessary delays. Banks are to be brought on board so that financing process is completed smoothly. Single-window system is a must for the success of the scheme as it would do away with all bottlenecks and avoid delays. The government agencies in Jammu and Kashmir are notorious for their lousy work culture and that is why no project here gets completed within the stipulated time frame. The long delays in getting NOC’s and other clearances from concerned departments discourage people to do business with the government. Financing institutions too are not always forthcoming and with the result, no matter how viable a scheme is, people don’t take any keen interest to be part of it. This time round, let it be hoped that all these concerns are taken care of and the scheme is implements with seriousness and vigour so that J&K’s economy is put back on rails.

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