JK imports goods worth Rs 40,000 cr, more than 60 percent consumed in Kashmir division
SRINAGAR: J&K Bank Chairman and CEO Parvez Ahmed on Friday said standardization of the local products, scale of production and the skill-set both in terms of processing and marketing are the three critical areas for setting up of import substitution industries successfully, an official press note issued here read. “And this calls for intervention from all the stakeholders including the state and central government besides major financial intermediation from the banks,” Parvez said.
He made these remarks in his presidential address in presence of J&K Industrial & Technical Consultancy Organisation (ITCO) Chairman Mohammad Shafi Pandit during the course of discussion on the Study Report conducted by J&K ITCO on ‘Raw Material Assessment of Goods Imported and Recommendation of Import Substitution Industries in Jammu & Kashmir’.
Talking about the idea of assigning the mandate to J&K ITCO for conducting the study, the bank chairman said, “Lot of experiments have been done to promote the industrial sector in J&K earlier also. However, the idea behind conducting the study was to look beyond the given constraints of infra-structure, fragile environment and recommend practical and effective measures that are sustainable besides being successful within the given set of constants in the state.”
By initiating such step he said our (the bank’s) aim was to develop a platform where all major stakeholders could come together and brainstorm how to create a situation wherein investment could be drawn in an organized manner to promote creation of employment in the state. This, he added, would kick start a process that mediates a viable relationship between the reputed brands, investors, local entrepreneurs with the support of both state and central government. “The franchisee arrangement with reputed brands will enable our entrepreneurs to leverage local raw materials to produce the best products with international standards,” he said.
The initial focus under a timeline driven roadmap would be on sectors having huge indigenous demand like dairy, poultry, sheep farming, agri-processing, etc., for which competence and resources were available in abundance in the state, read the note. “This will protect the flight of capital from the state which hitherto was not making any contribution for creation of gainful employment for our youth.”
Earlier, Pandit elaborated on the profile of J&K ITCO which was set up as a premier consultancy organization under the leadership of Dr A M Khusro. He profusely lauded the role of J&K Bank and said, “We are grateful to the chairman for sponsoring the study on one of the most important issues of our local economy and industries.”
On the occasion, CEO ITCO Sanjeev Arora made a detailed presentation on ‘Raw Material Assessment of Goods Imported and Recommendation of Import Substitution Industries in Jammu & Kashmir’ after taking into account various parameters determining their viability.
Summing up the objective of the study, Sanjeev Arora said, “The purpose of the study is to identify import substitute items which could be produced within the state after taking into account various Techno-Economic parameters which determine its viability.”
Highlights of the study
J&K is heavily dependent upon the goods and services from outside states and a steep rise in imports is being reported during the last few years.
As per the official data, J&K imports goods worth about Rs 40,000 crore with more than 60 percent of it getting consumed in Kashmir division. J&K has good market for the consumer goods given its population has crossed 1.25 crore, besides a vast floating population in terms of tourists, yatris (pilgrims), etc.
From small handmade goods to large industrial products, Jammu and Kashmir today is entirely dependent on the rest of India for food grains, rice, mutton, beef, poultry, fish, milk and packaged goods of every kind which especially, Kashmiris consume on a large scale.
There are more than 1800 items which are imported into the state and have been classified into different groups based on their value, demand and local consumption. The study recommends a wide range of products whose raw material is available in abundance in the state and has a huge potential in the market.
To tap the market with local production and utilize the resources available, the identification and promotion of import substitution industries is the key emphasis of the study.