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Hoping for I-Day calm, government works on panel for Jammu & Kashmir Global Investors Summit

NEW DELHI: An inter-ministerial committee is being formed to plan, review and execute the Jammu & Kashmir Global Investors Summit scheduled to take place from October 12 to 14, top government officials said.

The committee with officials from the ministries of power, commerce, tourism and home among others and key state officials will hold regular meetings with various stakeholders to ensure maximum investments flow into J&K, they told ET.

More than 2,000 dignitaries, including top business heads, senior ministers and officials, are expected to attend the government’s first big event in J&K after the abrogation of Article 370. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, is expected to take part in the event.

Till Wednesday, nearly 45 companies have already expressed interest to invest around Rs 3,000 crore in Jammu and Kashmir, state administration sources told ET.

Availability of industrial land, stability, cost of power and skilling labour are the top concerns raised by investors, officials said, adding that this has been communicated to the Governor.

Sameer Gupta, chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Northern Region that is working with the J&K administration to reach out to investors, said there was a good deal of interest from companies in pharma, power, tourism and cement sectors. “The time is short, but the daily reassurance of the government that the situation will be normal soon is working well to attract investment,” he said.

Navin K Choudhary, principal secretary of industry and commerce and tourism departments in J&K, said there would be special focus on adventure tourism. “Traditionally, J&K has only seen spiritual tourism. But there is a lot of scope for ecotourism and adventure tourism in the state that we are working to expand.”

He said most districts of J&K were peaceful with only a few “localised” incidents of unrest.

Companies that have confirmed their presence in the event include Trident Group, Shree Cement, Amul, Steelbird, Lemon Tree, Coca-Cola, Radisson, Dabur, Tata Group, Mahindra, Lupin, Sun Pharmaceuticals, Cadila Pharmaceuticals, and Berger Paints, officials said.

A top J&K official said investors have also asked for clarity on the availability of holiday homes, rental housing, and office and commercial spaces in J&K, and details about access to technology, capital, and marketing. Some of them are also hoping the government will announce special incentives for businesses, particularly new sets of industrial areas.

“Right now, they have been assured to wait and watch as the situation is likely to improve after August 15, after which we will also schedule meetings with them,” the official said.

Source: Economic Times