Global Investors Summit in J&K put off indefinitely

Coronavirus lockdown: First-ever Global Investors Summit in J&K put off indefinitely

Representative image. (Credit: AFP Photo)

With the intensity of COVID-19 pandemic spread increasing by the day, first-ever Global Investors Summit scheduled to be held in Jammu and Kashmir on May 25 and 26 has been put off indefinitely.

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The decision to put off the Summit has been taken by the government in view of the novel coronavirus situation as it wouldn’t be possible to hold such a large gathering by the end of this month.

“It will not be possible to hold the Summit in May. It has been put off till the coronavirus situation improves and things return to normal,” Commissioner/Secretary Industries and Commerce MK Dwivedi, said.

However, he said, they will be utilizing the time period to initiate the business-related reforms, build industrial estates, identify more land across the Union Territory as well as other districts. “The call on further timing for holding the Summit will be taken only after the situation returns to normal and industrial activity is resumed across the country,” Dwivedi said.

However, he added, the investors haven’t lost their interest in Jammu and Kashmir as they continued to call them to express their keenness to invest but only want the industry to recover from the shocks of coronavirus lockdown.

Sources said it could take quite some time for the industry as well as the Jammu and Kashmir government to hold the Summit going by the pace at which the COVID-19 cases were increasing especially in major investor-friendly states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka, where the investors had shown keen interest to invest in the Union Territory.

“Preference of the industry now is the revival after the government allows resumption of activities. Further investment will be their next option which can take quite some time. In such a scenario, the government anticipates that it won’t be possible to hold the Summit before next year,” they said.

After the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the central government had given much hype to the Summit stating that it would be a game-changer for bringing outside investment to the industrially backward Union Territory. 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 Union Territory 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 pandemic has shattered the investment sentiment across the country.