SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government has miserably failed to ensure equitable growth and development in the industrial sector and Kashmir region continues to be grossly ignored and discriminating against Jammu region in industrial development, Valley based industrialists Monday said here.
In an interactive program organised by Kashmir Small Scale Industries Association (KSSIA), Baghi Ali Mardan Khan, the speakers criticised the policies of state and central governments for framing faulty policies that in turn allowed inequitable industrial growth in the state in contrast to their own commitments on promoting equitability. The Directorate of Industries Kashmir also came under criticism for failing in its duty to take up these issues with the government along with other genuine problems of Kashmir based units.
Speaking on the occasion former president Federation Chamber of Industires Kashmir, Shakeel Qalander informed that more than 95 percent of the incentives in J&K state under Central Industrial Package- 2002 had gone to the units of only two districts of Jammu leaving remaining 5 percent for rest of 20 districts including 10 districts of the valley, according to a KSSIA statement.
Despite this fact an additional amount of Rs 50 crores was approved for up-gradation of industrial estates by GOI on the recommendations of a Task Force appointed to look into the grievances of Jammu and Ladakh regions about so called discriminations allegedly meted out to these regions by Kashmir. Ironically the state government has agreed to foot this expenditure from its own plan as per the directions of Planning Commission of India.
He said that the inherited deficiencies in the Central Industrial Package made it out of bound for Kashmir based entrepreneurs that forced FCIK to return this package to Prime Minister symbolically as a mark of resentment
Qalander said that over a period of past 25 years, the state government fully ignored the development of industrial infrastructure in the valley and by now Kashmir has less than 7000 Kanals of developed industrial plots as against more than 21000 Kanals of developed industrial plots in Jammu.
He said that the directorate of industries in Kashmir with all its wings and subordinate offices should rededicate for evolving policies and programs aimed at bringing back the industrial sector in Kashmir to rails. The Directorate should delegate more and more powers to the DICs with accountability and confine itself to work on advising the state government on working towards fresh policy formulations, creating new industrial estates and common facility centres, facilitating on modernisation and technology up-gradation, developing human resources and other such jobs.
In his address President FCIK Mohammad Ashraf Mir emphasized the need for revival of sick industrial units with required interventions and policies on providing adequate soft loan to these units besides other facilities. Mir informed the meeting that majority of industrial units had been rendered sick owing to turbulent condition leaving apart a meagre number of survivors who need all support and applaud. He stressed on adherence of the marketing policy by government departments in letter and spirit that provides for purchase and price preference to the local units.
Syed Fazil Elahi in his address raised the issues confronting the smooth functioning of industrial estate, Baghi Ali Mardan Khan. He made several demands regarding up-gradation of infrastructure in the estate, providing common facilities like display centre and weighing bridge etc and other such developments. Fazil Elahi informed the director about cumulative production loss of crores of rupees in the estate because of erratic power supply. He said that the power infrastructure in the estate is in shambles and need immediate replacement.
Former President FCIK Syed Nazim ud Din advocated for single point registration for wood based units by DICs relieving these units from hectic and cumbersome formalities with Forest department.
In his presidential address Director Industries, Kashmir, Mohammad Javaid Khan while acknowledging the in-depth knowledge of the captains of industry in Kashmir assured them that his department would leave no stone unturned to achieve the aspired goal provided all the stakeholders extend their support and cooperation to them.
He, according the KSSIA statement, admitted that the industrial environment in the valley continues to be decadent for various reasons but the only way left is to move forward to put in coordinated and concerted efforts for mitigating the genuine problems of existing and prospective units,. The Director Industries Kashmir also announced of conducting periodical performance audit of DICs as well as Directorate in order to make the officials at various levels accountable. Responding to the demands made by KSSIA the Director termed these as genuine and assured to grant approval for all of these in a systematic manner. He also assured to make the single window system more practicable and hassle-free.
The meeting was also addressed by General Manager, DIC. Srinagar, Munib-ul-Hassan and others.