Amid tensions, govt defers JK investor summit

Amid tensions, govt defers JK investor summit

Residents drive along a busy road in Srinagar. (AFP Photo)

The government has decided to defer the first-ever investor summit in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), amid tensions prevailing after the abrupt the revocation of special status to the erstwhile state.

The official sources in the government confirmed to DH that the investor summit in J&K has been deferred and that the government hasn't planned any new dates for now.

"The Centre wants to make the event look big. So we need more time for that and better local conditions," a source in the know said.

The Centre had planned to hold the investor meet in J&K from October 12 to October 14 this year, in a bid to garner investments in the conflict-torn state. The government had roped in Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the event.

However, the latest move is seen as a major jolt to the centre's plans in the newly formed union territory. The state has witnessed rising tensions after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government decided to scrap Article 35A and Article 370 on August 5. The government has been moving fast to restore normalcy in the state, however, hasn't tasted much success in it.

Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries has openly expressed interest in invest in the state, as was reported by DH. Other business groups that have expressed interest in investing in the state include Tata Sons and Apollo Hospitals.

However, experts are of the view that though there might be some interest in investing in Jammu and Kashmir, yet the business houses are very particular about the stability in the state. "No business house likes to put money at a place where there is uncertainty. Even if there would be proposals, I doubt there would be any investments," an industry source told DH. 

The state, over the years, has seen one of the lowest degrees of investment in the state. However, experts say that it has been more due to unrest in the state, than because of special status the state.

During 2017, the J&K had witnessed investment proposals worth Rs 1,008 crore. On the other side, during 2018, the state had seen investments worth Rs 932 crore being implemented.

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