Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra has exhorted the state administration to implement the ‘Make in India’ campaign launched by PM Narendra Modi in Jammu Kashmir to ensure that doing business becomes easy, and industry particularly manufacturing gets a major boost. Vohra has personally asked top officials to intervene in favour of the campaign as it could boost the economy, create more jobs, and earn large amount of revenue for the state government.
It must be noted that majority of the youth in Jammu, and now even Kashmir, and other parts of the state are forced to leave J&K because of the lack of opportunities here. While the bright among them, and those with good degrees, and some with connections manage to land good jobs outside the state there are hundreds who are doing average jobs in call centres, small manufacturing firms, BPO organizations and auto firms. It is not as if these jobs can be created in Noida and Gurgaon alone or in Bangalore but this can happen even in Kashmir, and easily in Jammu because the geographical conditions are same, talent is there, and only thing required is will of the government, and investment from private sector which depends on the former.
The problem so far has been the lack of vision in the government, and the politicians, and total dependence of the local population on government jobs, tourism, and to some extent trade. However, the state of J&K is plagued with unemployment because there no large factories, few good industrial units, and few IT and ITes companies. It is worth mentioning that majority of jobs in the last two decades have been created in the technology, and software sectors which are heavily service oriented, and these jobs can be replicated anywhere on the planet leave aside Jammu and Kashmir which has conducive environment and resources for such activity to happen. An year back a high level industrial delegation from J&K led by a minister visited Delhi, and Gurgaon, and interacted with top industry and corporate honchos, and big announcements were made about investment in the state, and setting up big projects but nothing actually happened on the ground. A top CEO of a Delhi based company says that with no help and support coming from the government, and scales not big enough there is little possibility of private sector moving there. He however admitted that jobs, and new units from NCR were moving to Tier II and III cities, and this could happen for J&K as well provided infrastructure was made available, and favourable policies designed. The ‘Make in India’ campaign, and the likely arrival of a new government in Jammu yet again gives the chance of making large interventions, and creating industry friendly infrastructure which could attract private investment from not only across the country but also abroad. However, if this does not happen then there is every likelihood that J&K will remain a backward, and corrupt state ever dependent on doles from Delhi.