The Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) has urged the government that Kashmir be included in Zone B of the industrial land zonation scheme during a recent chamber conference on industrial zone categorisation.
According to a statement issued by FCIK, the government has formulated a committee to look into the zonation of Kashmir divisions vide order no: DI&C/Dev/522/2022/2302-13 Dt: 31.10.2022.
“The geographical areas of Kashmir has been divided into Zone A and Zone B for the purpose of land value as per Industrial land allotment policy and to provide Incentives as per State and Central Industrial Policy. Zone A is having higher land value and lower incentives while Zone B is having lesser land value and higher Incentives than Zone A.”
FCIK has taken up the issue of disparity in zones at various high levels which includes esteemed members of visiting Parliamentary delegation, the Home Minister of India, MOS Finance GOI, MOS Commerce GOI, Lt Governor UT of J&K and also at Administrative levels which includes Jt Secretary DPIIT, Chief Secretary UT of J&K and others.
FCIK Secretary General, Ovees Qadir Jamie in a recent meeting on zonation has demanded to declare Kashmir valley in Zone B. He said Kashmir-based units operate in the most unconducive atmosphere with frequent road blockades, harsh climatic conditions and a number of other disadvantages which make it impossible for them to compete with their counterparts operating from the most advanced states having zero inventory mechanisms and cheap labour.
Jamie said that the industrial policies and schemes launched by the central and state governments, particularly during the past three decades have miserably failed both in mitigating the growing problems of existing enterprises or attracting prospective investments in the sector.
“The important incentives which have been excluded from the current industrial policy of 2021 which was acting as Cost equalizing measures and stimulus are Price preference, Purchase Preference, Cost of tender document, earnest money and security deposit, freight subsidy, Income Tax holiday and Tax remission as in previous VAT regime.”
He said the earlier Industrial policies had led to inequalities in industrial development across 22 districts of the erstwhile state as whatever new investment as an outcome of this package was made only in 3 districts of Jammu leaving 19 other districts high and dry and accordingly majority of incentives were disbursed in 3 districts of Jammu.
“FCIK has observed shortfalls in the policies which may act as severe impediments to meeting the target if these shortfalls were not addressed well in time. One of the issues is declaring Kashmir in Zone A and B.”
FCIK demands that the government should keep the constraints that the industrial community in Kashmir valley is facing while declaring the zones and without disparity whole valley should be declared as Zone B.