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Published On: Thu, Aug 29th, 2019

Global Investment Summit in J&K is Postponed

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Kashmir-1-380x214NEW DELHI : The much-touted Global Jammu and Kashmir investment summit, scheduled to be held in October, is postponed. According to Government sources in light of the continued restrictions in the Valley, organisers have sought more time to prepare for the summit.

The organisers have sought more time as restrictions, including communication blackout, continue three weeks after repealing of provisions under Article 370 which granted special status to the state
“We have only one-and-a-half month left and the situation is still not normal. So organisers have decided to postpone the event,” a source said. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and JK Trade Promotion Organisation were supposed to jointly host the summit in Srinagar and Jammu.
The event was meant to showcase the resources, raw materials and skills available in Kashmir. However, given the continued restrictions on movement, mobile phone operations and internet, the companies may find it difficult to operate in the region.

Industry sources said investor confidence can be boosted only when there is more semblance of normalcy. “Industry bodies need more time to ensure the event becomes as grand as was initially planned,” a source said.
Meanwhile, Governor Satyapal Malik indicated that it will take more time for communication facilities to be restored to pre-August 5 levels. “Internet is a handy tool for anti-national elements. Restoration of connections will be deferred for some more time,” Malik told reporters in Srinagar.
On August 5, as Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced a resolution to end Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcate the state into two union territories, government sources had revealed grand plans to attract investment to the Valley through the investor summit. The summit was scheduled to be held in Srinagar on October 11 and 12 and in Jammu on October 14.

The CII had welcomed the government’s move. “We would like to see investment across sectors in J&K. CII has stated to the govt. and the finance minister that it would support initiative for investment in the UT,” CII president-designate Uday Kotak had said after meeting Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on August 9.

“It is not the situation. Out priority right now is to smoothen the transition process from state to union territory,” a senior officer from J&K  administration.
Detractors however state it was a very premature move on part of government to announce a summit when so much was happening in the state. “Communication and transportation is such a big issue how can a summit be organised in middle of this,” said a businessman, requesting not want to be named.

The government had announced the first such global event in the state between October 12 and 14, days after ending its special status under Article 370 of the constitution earlier this month.

However, nearly a month after the move, Jammu and Kashmir remains under an unprecedented security lockdown and a communications blackout with severe restrictions on its residents. Mainstream leaders and hundreds political workers are under detention to prevent unrest, according to the government.

Announcing the investor summit, NK Chaudhary, the Jammu and Kashmir administration’s Commerce and Industry Principal Secretary, had been confident that the situation would improve in a month.
The central government had scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy and split the state into two union territories earlier this month. The revocation of the special status in the constitution meant people there would lose exclusive rights to property, government jobs and college seats and open them up to all Indians.

After the decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to industries and businesses to invest in J&K to ensure development in the state that has been hit by terrorism and violence.





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