- After the removal of Article 370 from the region, Jammu and Kashmir has attracted investments worth Rs 63,300 crores
- Recently, GULF based business leaders visited Kashmir which led to L-G Manoj Sinha expressing hope of the valley attracting investment worth Rs 70,000 crore
- Kashmir has been a cradle of civilisation and it is rightly reclaiming its position as such
Kashmir was once called a cradle of civilization. But thanks to politicians’ greed, the same Kashmir had been deprived of economic opportunities for the last 7 decades. However, the removal of Article 370 has effectuated some big changes in the valley.
L-G Manoj Sinha’s address to business leaders in Kashmir
The numbers on Kashmir are out. The state has not only witnessed a substantial decrease in terrorism-related incidents, but it has also seen an exponential rise in livelihood opportunities for the average Kashmiri. In January this year, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha informed business leaders that the state had received an investment worth $ 2.5 billion in 2021 itself.
In his address to the Investors Summit in Dubai, Sinha pitched Jammu and Kashmir’s potential for attracting investment. Business leaders of the gulf countries were apprised by Sinha that a young population and demographic dividend coupled with improved law and order situation in J&K has given rise to a safe and conducive environment for the businesses to flourish.
“This is the new Jammu Kashmir determined to reverse the trend of the past seven decades by pushing the targets for economic growth. Our aim is to deepen the trust with business firms, build the industrial base for the economy and strengthen social stability. And, the tireless effort is paying us the dividend,” said Manoj Sinha.
Assuring potential investors of full support from the government, Sinha
added, “I assure you, the government will be a facilitator, partner, provider, collaborator and promoter at every step to ensure a sustainable, balanced, progressive and competitive business environment for traditional core sectors and new-age technology-driven sectors,”
Read more: Modi Government is all set to change the course of development in Jammu and Kashmir
GULF business delegation visits Kashmir
Sinha’s invitation to Gulf business leaders did not go unheard. 2 months later, top business leaders from GULF visited Kashmir to analyse the environment for business opportunities. The delegation comprised 30 CEOs of top companies operating in the GULF region as well as in India. These CEOs themselves belonged to different geographies including Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia. It was headed by Bal Kishan, CEO of Century Finance and a resident of Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda.
J-K’s potential in sectors like real estate, hospitality, development, food processing and agriculture attracted investors the most. According to a report by Indian Express, business leaders were excited to invest in the valley. Abdullah Al Shibani, one of the potential investors, told the newspaper that there is a huge opportunity for investment in Kashmir. Shibani is of the opinion that Kashmir’s business opportunities will attract more investors from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as well as the UAE.
Read more: The Perfect opportunity for India to strengthen its position in the Gulf region
After a sightseeing tour (for investment opportunities), business leaders were hosted by L-G Manoj Sinha in an investment summit at the Srinagar-based Sher-I-Kashmir International Convention Centre. L-G Sinha expressed hope that within six months, the valley will be able to attract investments worth Rs 70,000 crores in the region.
Investors are positive about Kashmir
Investors’ perceived confidence in the law and order in the Union Territory was also vindicated by the proliferation of women-led businesses in the region. Kashmiri women are encouraged through capacity building, access to credit, and market linkages under the “Hausla- inspiring her growth” programme. Some of the women who benefited from the programme also pitched in their products for further investment.
In a statement to Moneycontrol, an unnamed delegate said,” Some of the women entrepreneurs were very impressive- the way they made their pitch and spoke was just awesome,”
Read more: Kashmiri Pandits can now reclaim their lost land in Kashmir
Investments pour into Kashmir
Ever since Article 370 was removed, business leaders started approaching government officers for potential investment. However, it took some time to improve law and order in the region. But Kashmir did bounce back well. After the removal of Article 370, the region has attracted a total investment of Rs 63,300 crores.
Read more: Jammu and Kashmir opens up for ALL real-estate investors, bags Rs 18,300 crore in investments at once
In the last year alone, Jammu and Kashmir received investment proposals worth Rs 52,155 crores. According to a report by the Times of India, these investments are good enough to feed 2.4 lakh families. The government has already given assent to investments worth Rs 36,244 crores. In this way, the government has ensured the livelihood opportunity for 1.36 lakh individuals.
Service sector to lead the way
The sector-wise breakdown of investment presents a very interesting picture. Numbers indicate that the service sector may emerge as a leader to drive the valley’s development in the upcoming decades. Rs 10,609 crores have been raked up by hotels, restaurants, health, social work, automobile, steel fabrication, recreation, warehousing, cold storage, sports, ecotourism and handicrafts. Manufacturing sectors have also been able to grab a substantial amount of these investments, but looking at the climate of Kashmir, tourism and related service sectors are expected to overshadow other segments.
Kashmir has everything which makes it attractive for investments. Cheap labour, welcoming people, cold and conducive environment, less environmental concern and now improved law and order. It won’t be long before Kashmir regains its position as a cradle of civilization.