STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industries, Som Prakash on Wednesday reiterated that Government of India would soon announce a comprehensive Industrial Policy for the newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to attract huge investments to the region. The Minister was interacting with local industrialists and representatives of traders Associations, here at Udhyog Bhawan. The Minister asserted that the policy would satisfy all the stakeholders and provide a level playing field for growth of industry. “Central Government will extend all help to local industrialists to enable them to flourish and compete with other competitors by providing them level field,” Prakash said and added that the people of J&K have strong will and determination to progress with rest of the country. “Due to several political and economic barriers, the people in the region, including industrialists, were deprived of avenues for growth and fast paced development,” he added. The interactive session was also attended by Secretary Industries and Commerce, MK Dwivedi; Director Industries Jammu, Anoo Malhotra; Managing Directors of PSUs (corporations) and other concerned officers. On the occasion, the industrialists projected several issues before the Minister and sought his intervention for the redress of the same. The industrialists informed the Minister that the Industrial Development Scheme (IDS) for J&K will end by March 31, this year and demanded its extension for next fifteen years. They also said that there is shortage of land bank in J&K and demanded creation of Special Economic Zones and Special Investment Regions like Food Parks, Technology Parks etc. Among other issues, the industrialists took up with the Minister, included freight subsidy for transportation, 24X7 power supply to industrial areas, extension of 50 per cent capital investment subsidy for captive power projects, introduction of self credit scheme and insurance cover etc. Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Industries and Commerce, MK Dwivedi informed the Minister that capping of incentives under IDS-2017 scheme needs to either be reviewed or removed for the larger benefit of industry in the UT. On the Occasion, the Minister assured the industrialists that all the issues flagged up by them would be given due consideration by the government and subsequently redressed. The session discussed issues specific to pharmacy, walnut, carpet etc besides general issues pertaining to freights, high import cost, investment cost, industrial policy etc. Meanwhile, the Minister was informed that there are 25,735 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) registered in UT of J&K with Rs 8,208 crore investment and providing employment to 1,62.084 persons. It was further informed that there are 64 large scale units in the region with Rs 12,146 crore investment and providing employment to 18,310 persons. Meanwhile, the Union Minister inaugurated several development and infrastructure projects in Jammu City and Its peripheries. He inaugurated a Grid Station at Janipur, a newly constructed road at Upper Bhalwal and black topped road from Khambal Khad to Batta. Later, the Union Minister attended a function at Government College for Engineering and Technology (GCET) Bhalwal. At the function, he presented appreciation certificates to ASHA Workers and AWW and gave away PMAY sanction letters and Laadli beti Pass Books to beneficiaries. He was accompanied by Private Secretary, Basant Garg, Director Industries and Commerce Jammu, Anoo Malhotra; Managing Director SICOP Atul Sharma; Managing Director JK Minerals, Vikram Singh and AC Nazool and Tehsildar Farooq Khan.
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