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Uday Kotak calls for investments in J&K; Amul, Lemon Tree confirm intent

BusinessToday.In     August 7, 2019

With Article 370 out of the way, veteran banker Uday Kotak has called for initiatives to drive growth and create job opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir. In a statement, Kotak said that the state has strong potential for development as it enjoys a range of natural resources and immense talent.

Both Houses of the Parliament have approved bifurcation of the northernmost state of India into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. This also negates the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir by virtue of Article 370, allowing for its legal and economic integration with the rest of India.

"The region's per capita NSDP at Rs 63,995 stands at about 55% of the national average, and agriculture accounts for 80% of the output. Strong efforts from the Government and industry, including local businesses, are the need of the hour to raise its growth rate and create new opportunities for employment and livelihoods," the CII president designate said in statement on bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir.

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With the economy of Jammu and Kashmir open for all, companies have started to come forward with the intent to invest. So far, dairy major Amul India has expressed interest towards investing in the region. Meanwhile, helmet maker Steelbird has offered to set up a plant in Jammu and Kashmir.

Hospitality player Lemon Tree has also proposed two new properties with 35-40 beds each in Gulmarg and Sonmarg areas. Lemon Tree already operates three hotels with a capacity of 176 beds in the region. The biggest one with 70 rooms was opened in Katra in 2017. The company started two more hotels in Srinagar and Jammu in 2018.

Presently, companies including Lupin, Sun Pharamceuticals, Cadila Pharmaceuticals, Coca Cola, Radisson, Dabur and Berger Paints have investments in Jammu and Kashmir.

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In the statement, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has recommended a ten-point policy agenda for growth of Jammu and Kashmir, the statement further said. These measures include sustainable industrial growth, a better investment climate, and boosting specific sectors such as tourism, infrastructure and connectivity, agriculture and horticulture, and renewable energy, among others.

CII also said it is partnering with the local government to organise an investors' summit. "CII would continue to work with the new administration in the two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh for ensuring faster development in this vital region of the country," the industry body said.

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