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How Making J&K a Union Territory will help Flourish Small Industries

By discarding “special status” provision to J&K state, the economy in the province will boom and in turn increment business enterprises in the region.
BY Jaspreet Kaur
Feature Writer, BusinessEx
Aug 08,2019

In the recent parliament meet, the re-elected Modi government proclaimed to have revoked Article 370 and Article 35A, inscribed in the Indian constitution, which offered a special status to Jammu and Kashmir state.

Following the announcement, JK province has been divided into two union territories. Under Article 35A, non-residents are not permitted to invest or purchase any immovable property in the state. By scrapping the provision, the government is trying to attract investors and incentivise non-Kashmiris to participate in the small industries of the state.

Small Industries to Flourish in JK After Amendment of Article 370 and Article 35A

By discarding the special status provision to JK state, the economy in the province will boom and in turn, increment business enterprises in the region. Here are the industries which will be bearing a positive impact on this move.

1.Realty Sector

With the implementation of Article 35A, the property prices in the JK state has not risen drastically like it has in other states. At present, the property prices in JK ranges between INR 901.77 to INR 9017 sq. feet, varying from region to region. In comparison to this, the property prices in metro cities such as Mumbai has surged to INR 25,000 sq. feet till date.

As the provision did not allow outsiders to intrude in the realty sector and invest in immovable properties, thus the prices have remained stable throughout the years. By turning the state into two separate union territories, increased participation of the investors and real estate companies in the JK realty sector can be witnessed in the offing.

  1. Agriculture Industry

Agriculture is one of the main segments, which provides employment to the state population. Over the years, the environment sustainability index of the province has decreased massively. There are several reasons which are responsible for the deteriorating environment. One of them is poor soil quality. Besides this, self-employed farmers grapple in the Kashmir region as there is a lack of investment, resource availability, and inputs. Owing to the fixation on merely 4 crops, the agriculture industry is deteriorating in the state.

The government has not introduced any new agriculture policies in the last few years. The same policies are being offered to the farmers without any revisions, according to the daily news, Kashmir Reader.

However, after dissolving state assembly in the recent parliamentary meeting, the Modi-led government has introduced a separate legislature for JK. This will, further, enable common masses of JK to utilize programs and policies, which central government has initiated for all the Indian citizens.

With the decentralisation of power, farmers can also make use of the agricultural policies that the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare offer such as the Social Health Card scheme, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and mKisan.

  1. Horticulture Industry

Similar to agriculture, the horticulture industry comprises a mammoth task of creating employment and generating revenue in Jammu and Kashmir. Even after witnessing the positive impacts of the horticulture industry, the state assembly did not create any policy for the horticulture industry until 2018, as reported by the daily news, Greater Kashmir.

With the advent of a separate legislature for JK state, the small entrepreneurs engaged in horticulture business will be getting additional help through the central government led-programs viz. Central Institute of Horticulture(CIH), Coconut Development Board (CDB), Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development(DASD), Directorate of Cashewnut Cocoa Development and National Horticulture Board (NHB).

  1. Handloom Industry

The handloom industry of Kashmir is widely known for its skilled craftsmanship. The industry offers various kinds of products to the consumers--pashmina shawls, Kashmir silk sarees, and carpets, to name a few. However, the increasing use of machines has reduced the count of artisans in the handloom industry. Furthermore, it has grown a threat amongst artisans that they would be out of work.

Earlier on, no concrete step was taken by the state government to curb the rise of machine-made handloom products. However, with the revoking of special status provision, the handloom workers in JK can now exercise programs and schemes, which are essentially led to uphold handloom workers by the Ministry of Textiles. Some of these policies and schemes that self-employed artisans can use are Weavers MUDRA scheme, Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS) and Handloom Weavers Comprehensive Welfare Scheme.

  1. Hospitality Sector

Jammu and Kashmir, which is situated in the northern-most part of India, is widely famous for its serene beauty, valleys, temples, and gardens. These attributes, in turn, make the province a good destination for tourists. However, constant violence in the state has steadily decreased the count of tourists over the last few years.

At present, the tourism sector is contributing almost 15 per cent in GDP, World Travel and Tourism Council. The governments move to demerge JK from Ladakh and turn it into a separate union territory can bring positive impacts on the tourism and hospitality sector of the state.

After Modi-governments ordinance to decentralise state assembly of JK, not only will the above-stated industries be booming, but also the states economy will be proliferating altogether. Major impacts of the governments move will be seen in the coming future.

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