New industrial policy should focus on creating jobs in J&K apart from ease of business

The Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee addressing a meeting with Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Jammu & Kashmir at Srinagar during his visit to Kashmir on April 18, 2003 (Friday)While the new industrial policy of the state has focused on bringing investment and ensuring the ease of business the large majority of people in the state also feel that government should focus on job creation in services sectors and tourism industry which is the mainstay of J&K’s economy. The state has set an ambitious target of Rs 20,000 crores investment in industry but it would have been pertinent that another target of twenty thousand jobs in the services sector in next five years should have been set. With government unable to absorb the educated youth there is a very strong unrest prevailing in the state because of unemployment. The rising support for terrorism in Kashmir is partly also because there are not many jobs available in the state and private sector has not been able to create jobs.

The industrial policy has made provision for creation of land banks in the state and also plans to use the land which has been lying vacant in existing industrial estates. As far as land is concerned the state has ample land and it should focus on creating large infrastructure and offices and try to invite large BPO, BPMs and software companies and to try to create an IT SEZ in Jammu. The state government could provide free land, buildings, subsidized prower in lieu of creating large scale jobs to local youth. There is also need to focus on building startups which are focused on technology so that successful products are developed in the state which can create wealth later for enterpreneurs.

Traditional manufacturing is fine but the government has to understand that Jammu and Kashmir has limited natural resources and tradition of manufacturing. The state is more about service, and hospitality and taking this into account it is high time the policies take into account creation of jobs apart from ensuring ease of business.

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