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Govt plans to roll out Rs 3,500 crore industrial development scheme for Ladakh

Solar Power Plant (Photo for representation)

Srinagar: In a significant development, Government of India is considering a major industrial development scheme, with a proposed financial outlay of Rs 3,500 crore, for generating large-scale job opportunities in the private sector in the Union Territory of Ladakh. This scheme is being framed on the same pattern as the scheme introduced in UT of Jammu and Kashmir with an allocation of Rs 28,400 crore in 2021.

According to officials, Ladakh has a huge potential for generation of solar power and manufacturing of electronic chips.

Official sources said that the first major industrial development scheme for Ladakh has been just finalised by the Union Ministry of Commerce on the pattern of the industrial development policy of 2021 for Jammu and Kashmir and the same would be unveiled in the next few weeks.

According to sources, the Cabinet note prepared by the Ministry of Commerce in coordination with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, has been forwarded for consideration and approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). It is aimed at giving a major boost to industrial development in Ladakh.

Jammu and Kashmir’s new industrial development scheme, with the country’s highest incentives, has attracted proposals of domestic and foreign investment worth around Rs 70,000 crore.

Sources said the Industrial Development Scheme for the UT of Ladakh was expected to be launched in 2022-23.

According to sources, the scheme would be launched immediately after the approval of the CCEA which was expected in the next few weeks. The Union Ministry of Commerce is pursuing the matter with the CCEA to revise the budgetary allocation, if required, based on the approval status of the scheme. The Centre, according to sources, is taking the UT administration on board in all matters related to framing of the industrial development scheme.

All political, social, cultural and religious organisations, excluding the BJP, have lately joined hands to push their demands which include a special status on the pattern of some tribal districts in the north-east, inclusion of the newborn UT in the Sixth Schedule as per recommendations of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes in September 2019. Previously their demands also included ‘Statehood’ and a UT with legislature.

The UTs of J&K and Ladakh were born of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir through the Parliamentary legislation of ‘Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, in August 2019. J&K’s erstwhile bicameral legislature was changed with the abolition of the Legislative Council. Previously, the Assembly comprised 87 seats—83 in J&K and 4 in Ladakh. The UT of Ladakh was created without any provision for a Legislative Assembly because of its small size of population. Subsequently the number of seats in J&K UT’s Legislative Assembly was raised from 83 to 90.

Now there are 47 Assembly segments in Kashmir and 43 in Jammu.