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J&K fast-tracks Rs 28,400 crore Centre scheme to boost industry

JK announces scheme for start-ups and entrepreneurs (IANS)

The Government of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday announced a major relief for start-ups and entrepreneurs aspiring to set up production and service units in the Union Territory under the Rs 28,400 crore incentive scheme already announced by the Government of India.

Cutting red tape, the UT administration has issued an order to facilitate the setting up of industries without the laborious process of registration with the Department of Industries and Commerce.  

“Any person who intends to start an enterprise may voluntarily take registration under Udyam/IEM (of the MSME Ministry/Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Govt of India), which shall suffice for establishing an industrial unit.” the official order states.

“In case of approvals/NOCs which may be required on case to case basis from various departments like power connection, water connection, approval of building plan, NoC from Fire and Emergency Dept, change of land use or land title verification, two committees shall monitor time-bound issuance or otherwise, of approvals as per fixed timelines”, reads the order.

Previously, the aspiring entrepreneurs were supposed to clear a tedious process of seeking no objection certificates (NOCs) from different departments and organisations—which would take years—before incorporation of their proposed units for establishment and financial support.

Now the Industrial Estate level single window committee for NOCs for units within Industrial Estates will be looked after by General Manager of the concerned District Industries Centre (DIC) and the concerned Manager Estates of the Jammu and Kashmir State Industrial Development Corporation Limited (SIDCO).

The District level Single Window Committee (SWC) for NOCs for units outside Industrial Estates will be looked after by General Manager DIC concerned, Assistant Commissioner Revenue, and Executive Engineers of Power and Jal Shakti departments.

The Industrial Estate level SWC for NOCs shall monitor issuance of the above approvals/NOCs as per the timelines of the J&K Public Services Guarantee Act (PSGA). District level SWC for NOCs shall monitor issuance of these NOCs/approvals within 15-day period, the order states.

There shall be a Divisional Level SWC for NOCs which shall periodically monitor the working of all these committees and address any issue related to issuance of NOCs. This committee will be headed by Director Industries and Commerce of Kashmir/Jammu.

The Centre has lately announced a new industrial development scheme under which industrialists and start-ups would set up units involving an investment of Rs 28,400 crore. These units will be established under the supervision of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Government of India, while the UT government has been delegated the power of registration and processing of claims under the scheme.

The conventional system of registrations for the units which require NOCs under the Air Act, the Water Act and the Environment Act will, however, remain intact. According to officials, this is to ensure zero-harm to the fragile ecological system in Jammu and Kashmir. “But there are strict instructions that the system should be completely hassle-free”, said an officer at the J&K State Pollution Control Board.

Managing Director SIDCO, Mohammad Haroon Malik, said that a chain of departments in coordination with the Trade Promotion Organisation was currently fine-tuning the land allotment policy which stands already approved on 22 January 2021 but needs to include some relief for the existing unit holders. “We are making every necessary arrangement to kick-start the new industrial scheme from 1 April 2021”, Malik added.

According to officials, SIDCO was grappling with a host of issues that had made it virtually dysfunctional in the last 30 years of militancy. They revealed that a land bank of 50 hectares was under SIDCO’s legal possession at Ompora in Budgam district but the Army was not allowing any construction on the same. “Just the local chapter of NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) and a hospital for the labourers is coming up there. They are not allowing any other units to come up”, said an official.

Another official revealed that some militants and their supporters had grabbed 1600 kanals of SIDCO’s land bank at Lassipora, Pulwama. Only those unit holders who pay hefty bribes to a mafia of land grabbers get the possession of land. Now the issue removal of encroachments has been taken up with Deputy Commissioner of Pulwama, Raghav Langar.

The Administrative Council headed by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has approved the adoption of Jammu & Kashmir Industrial Land Allotment Policy, 2021-30 in January 2021. It is to evolve a highly structured industrial land bank for promoting equitable industrial growth in Jammu and Kashmir.