Global Investors Summit 2020 unlikely to be held in J&K

COVID-19: Global Investors Summit 2020 unlikely to be held in J&K

Representative image.

With the much-hyped Global Investors Summit unlikely to be held in Jammu and Kashmir this year due to COVID-19 pandemic, entrepreneurs in the Union Territory (UT) have urged the government to divert the funds allocated for the summit to revamp the beleaguered industrial sector.

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Amid COVID-19 pandemic, industrial production in J&K has faced a sharp decline. The industry contributes 28% to J&K Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“Apart from few industrial units which are into manufacturing of essential commodities, all other units in Kashmir are closed which means our industrial production is below 10%. It means huge losses for the local unit holders who were already suffering since August 2019,” a senior official of the Industries and Commerce department, said.

Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) executive council member Ovees Qadir suggested that it would be prudent on the part of the government to utilise funds earmarked for the Summit to develop and promote local industry to boost the economy of J&K.

The central government had allotted Rs 50 crore for hosting the first ever Global Investors Summit-2020, which was scheduled to be held in Jammu and Srinagar in last week of May. “Since it seems unlikely in the prevailing situation, it would be better to utilise this money for revamping the industrial sector in Kashmir,” said an entrepreneur.

While the officials of the department are tight-lipped about the fate of the Summit, sources said that in a few days the decision on deferment will be announced by the government. After abrogation of J&K’s special status, the government had given much hype to the Summit stating that it would be a game changer for bringing outside investment to the industrially backward UT.

As a precursor to the mega event, several pre-summit investors’ meets and curtain-raisers were held in New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad in January and February this year.

The aim of the Summit was to exhibit the different investment opportunities available in the newly formed UT of J&K in sectors including tourism, film tourism, horticulture and post harvest management, agro and food processing, mulberry production for silk, health and pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, IT/ ITes, renewable energy, infrastructure and real estate, handloom and handicraft, and education.

However, the situation arising out of the pandemic has shattered the investment sentiment across the country.