J&K, India Inc sign MoUs worth ₹2,100cr

The administration of the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir, formed after the reading down of Article 370 last year, signed MoUs worth over Rs.2,100 crore with India Inc at an investment summit in Mumbai.

The UT has sought Rs.50,000 crore in investment from business houses in 14 sectors. According to the Confederation of Indian Industry, 55% of it has been sought in tourism & hospitality, renewable energy, agri-horticulture and food processing, and the remaining in textiles, manufacturing, healthcare, entertainment and education.

To facilitate investment, the MoU offers land parcels of 250-300 acres in each district of the UT. It also proposes to revive cinema halls shut for decades, and create multiplexes and other entertainment zones.

“We want to maximize industrial growth and employment opportunities in J&K. For this we are engaging in six city roadshows. We have already (covered) Bengaluru, Kolkata and Mumbai,” J&K’s principal secretary (planning, development and monitoring) Rohit Kansal told journalists at the CII-organized event. “The (remaining) roadshows will (be in) Hyderabad, Chennai and Ahmedabad.” Kansal said the UT has signed around Rs.2,000 crore worth of non-binding MoUs in Kolkata, Rs.850 crore in Bengaluru and over Rs.2,100 crore in Mumbai.

The UT’s lieutenant governor, Girish Chandra Murmu, led its delegation, which included chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, while prominent corporates present included the Taj Hotels, Carnival Cinemas, Volkswagen, Hinduja Group, Ambuja Cements, Club Mahindra, and Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Around 40 business-to-government roundtables were held in sector-specific sessions, in which 150 delegates took part. The MoUs signed in Mumbai include a Rs.1,000 crore proposal to set up business townships and similar infrastructure, a Rs.300-crore plan for poultry, agriculture and food processing, and a Rs.150-crore financial services proposal.

The UT will soon hold a global investors’ summit in Srinagar and Jammu, officials said. Kewal Sharma, advisor to the lieutenant governor, said, “We are in final stages of designing an ambitious industrial promotion policy, which will have elements like SGST reimbursement in full, an attractive land policy, stamp duty exemption, support for green industrialization, along with other benefits.”

Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, commissioner-secretary (industries & commerce), said the UT has a great inherent potential with an appropriate climate for agriculture, a vibrant tourism ecosystem and a huge land bank.

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