Editorial: A new beginning

Srinagar: Lack of infrastructure in key areas is one of the impediments hampering the growth of our economy. One immediate solution to tackle such hiccups is involving the people concerned with the trade so that long term infrastructure is created which will provide the much needed boost to the economy besides, create new job opportunities.

One such effort that is being initiated in the horticulture sector has been conceived by the horticulture department and an association of fruit growers. The venture to construct 5000 metric ton controlled atmospheric (CA) store for preservation of fruits with an estimate cost of Rs 26 crore will be coming up in Parimpora. The cost of establishing the plant will be borne by the fruit dealers union itself.

However, the Horticulture Department has provided land measuring 7 kanals, 7 marlas for construction of the CA store at Parimpora fruit marketing complex.

Though a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Horticulture Department and growers association last week, the project can spell a new beginning for various other trades in the state.

This will be one of its first kind of an initiative where any union or association instead of waiting for government funds, has taken a step to develop facility for their common use. The move will help the growers to preserve fruits mostly apples for longer period and increase their revenue.

Interestingly, the government had decided to open up 10 key sectors for rapid infrastructure upgradation in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode, a path-breaking policy framework approved by the State cabinet two years back.

To cope up with infrastructure deficit in crucial sectors like housing, public utilities, healthcare, roads, tourism, technical education, sports, commercial establishments, horticulture and animal husbandry, the Government had decided to adopt the PPP mode for time-bound asset creation in these sectors.

PPP is a funding and operational model for public infrastructure projects requiring large finance. The projects shall have to follow approved models and guidelines and will be implemented only after the approval of the state cabinet.

Though the PPP mode too had its share of criticism as the state featured among the bottom five states in terms of PPP investments in India.

The study, titled ‘PPP Investment in Indian Infrastructure: Need for Growth and Development’ by Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited, had said that the contribution of JK towards PPP sector in India was only 0.2 per cent. The study said that most of the projects that have been taken up in PPP mode in Jammu and Kashmir have been declared as terminated projects.

However, considering the ground realities in the state, the PPP mode can evolve to be one of the key solutions to the problems faced by the state government. It’s only planning and execution that will make the difference.



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