JAMMU: The department of Industries and Commerce, Government of India Thursday hosted a video conference with officers from Jammu and Kashmir to discuss measures for promoting Trade and Commerce from Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting was co-chaired by Union Commerce Secretary, Anup Wadhawan and Chief Secretary, J&K, BVR Subrahmanyam.
Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production Department Navin Kumar Choudhary; ,Principal Secretary to Lieutenant Governor J&K Nitishwar Kumar; Commissioner Secretary I&C Department Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Commissioner Secretary Transport Department, Hirdesh Kumar; Secretary, Information Technology Department, Simrandeep Singh; MD JKTPO, Ankita Kar; Director Industries Jammu, Anoo Malhotra; Director Industries Kashmir, Mehmood Shah; Director Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir; Masaratul Islam, Director, Handicrafts and Handloom Jammu, Vikas Gupta and other officers from the I&C Department, besides Additional Secretaries/Joint Secretaries of the department of Commerce, DGFT and associated agencies like APEDA, DPIIT, IBEF, Plantation Board, Spices Board, NITI Aayog also attended the meeting.
Union Commerce Secretary, highlighted the importance of exports in raising the economy of the UT and need to push exports from Jammu and Kashmir. He discussed various means by which the JK Government and Central government can work together to boost exports from the UT. These measures included preparation of export strategy for the UT and to align UT plan with the national plan on exports to bring awareness about various export promotion schemes from DGFT, making optimum use of Market Access Initiative (MIA) scheme, preparation of Agri Export Policy, Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) for improving export Infrastructure in the UT.
Wadhawan also stressed upon film tourism and IT enabled services as hugely explorable and development areas as far as J&K is concerned.
While addressing the meeting Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam said, “Post August 2019 lot of positive changes have taken place in JK and Government is committed to overall development of the UT. Apart from traditional products like walnut, apples, handicrafts, saffron, there is huge potential to boost exports from the UT in medical tourism and IT services. There are some logistic challenges in the UT which are being addressed exclusively, he said adding that J&K was supposed to host an Investor Summit this year but due to COVID same has been deferred and would probably be organized sometime next year.”
It was informed by GoI, that export promotion councils will be organising specific events for J&K in addition to 230+ events planned for the next one year. All EPCs have been directed to specially involve exporters from J&K and special pavilions will be reserved for exporters from Jammu and Kashmir.
Navin Kumar Choudhary, informed that the department is working towards framing an Agri Export Policy which will be ready by end of December 2020. He also informed that through high density plantation J&K would increase its apple production from 22 lakh MT to 30 Lakh MT in next few years. He also requested the Government of India to start Direct International Cargo flights to facilitate exporters and cater to markets in the Middle east.
Reacting to this, Civil Aviation officers said that they are coming up with a brand new Air cargo terminal at Srinagar which will be ready by April 2021. Besides, APEDA was requested to put a dedicated office staff for facilitation of the exporters to which they promptly agreed.
Commissioner Secretary I&C Department, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi speaking on the occasion highlighted the need for warehousing and storage facilities in J&K and also asked for increase in cargo offload capacity from J&K. He expressed the need for quality and testing facilities in J&K so that the exporters don’t have to travel to different parts of India to get their products tested.
He also informed that J&K is working towards district export plans for each district and district level meetings for 12 districts have already been conducted and products have been identified for export. J&K is also coming up with two IT towers with plug and play facilities which would boost ITeS exports from the UT, he added. Also, a training cum registration drive of exporters is scheduled to be conducted to create awareness among the traders/exports of J&K, identification of clusters with export potential through discussion with EPCs and FIEO.
Dwivedi said that the UT Government will be sending a proposal to the Central Government under TIES scheme for upgradation of Export Infrastructure in the UT.
Chief Secretary Jammu and Kashmir thanked the Commerce Secretary, Anup Wadhawan and other officers from Union Ministry of Commerce for the initiative.
Pertinently, S Kishore Additional Secretary Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, has been nominated as nodal officer for export related initiatives and queries for Jammu and Kashmir.