Press  Cuttings.  .. . .  .. . ..
                                           Union FM gives nod to extension of industrial package to J&K for 5 yrs.
                                               Deptt of Industrial Promotion to issue notification shortly

                                                *Capital, Interest, Insurance, Tpt Subsidy Schemes approved"

DE
JAMMU, May 8: Union Finance Ministry has given nod to the extension of industrial package to Jammu and Kashmir by five years and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry will issue notification in this regard within next couple of days. However, several pleas of the State Government have been turned down on various grounds.

Highly placed sources told EXCELSIOR that Union Finance Ministry has given approval to the extension of industrial package to the Jammu and Kashmir albeit this time for five years as against the previous package of incentives sanctioned for 10 years in 2002 which expired on June 14, 2012. “Now the file is being sent to the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry for issuance of notification by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, which is likely within next few days”, sources said, adding “the fresh industrial package would be given effect from June 14, 2012?.

Under the previous package, the State Government claimed Rs 124 crore from the Union Government in 10 years but this time the figure is likely to go up considerably although package has been sanctioned for five years only, sources said, adding “the State Government is planning to get Rs 300 crore worth benefits from the Centre keeping in view the momentum the industrialization has gained and the keenness of State Government to bring uncovered areas under the ambit of industrialization”. In response to a question, sources said, “under the new package excise and income tax subsidy is unlikely and the indication of the same was already given to the State Government authorities during series of meetings held in the recent past and the last one on February 25, 2013?, adding “even the demand of the State Government regarding making the package location neutral seems to be not considered by the Union Government on various grounds”.

While seeking location neutrality under the new industrial package, the State Government had submitted that due to locations specific previous package neither the benefit could be fully availed by the entrepreneurs of the State nor the industry could disburse in the hilly and backward areas of the State. “As per the indications received from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, thrust industries might have been considered by the Union Government under the new package”, sources said, adding “in the context of Jammu and Kashmir, the thrust industries are handicrafts, eco-tourism and exploration of minerals etc. Even detailed information in this regard was also sought by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotions about two months back”.

However, sources informed that Central Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme, Central Interest Subsidy Scheme, Central Comprehensive Insurance Scheme and and Transport Subsidy Scheme have been approved by the Union Finance Ministry under the new package. Meanwhile, Joint Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Subhra Singh has convened a meeting of top brass of the Industries and Commerce Department of the State at Union Capital tomorrow. “The meeting is aimed at seeking information pertaining to the number of units installed during the period of previous package and the employment opportunities generated in such units”, sources said, adding “the DIPP will also give detailed information on the Transport Subsidy Scheme and procedure to be adopted for availing benefit under the new industrial package




                                SIDCO asked to mobilize investment for economic, employment growth

GK NEWS

Srinagar, May 7: Maintaining that industrialization is the “most powerful tool” for massive economic and employment generation, Minister of State for Industries and Commerce, Sajad Ahmad Kichloo today stressed for bringing hitherto uncovered areas in the state under industrialisation. Speaking at a review meeting of Jammu and Kashmir State Industrial Development Corporation Limited (SIDCO) here this afternoon, Kichloo said there should be no discrimination with any area with regard to exploitation of Industrial potential and investment of funds for setting up of Industrial Estate. Kichloo directed the officers to lay major focus on mobilization of investment for the economic and employment growth of the State through development of Industrial infrastructure.

Kichloo called for greater coordination among various agencies related to Industrial promotion so that both small and medium industrial sectors are given a big boost in the State. He also called for judicious use of funds and optimum exploitation of industrial potential in all districts of the State, adding that main focus of establishing industrial estates should be the employment generation.


                                 


                                   Pesticide, Insecticide Units Pose Grave Threat to Ecology
                                                                   Operate illegally in State


Mustansir

Srinagar, May 5: The Pesticide/Insecticide units are endangering human life and ecology in the state as the unit holders are running the units without obtaining ISO certification which is mandatory for them before starting production. The state government adopted the policy for establishment of insecticides /pesticides industrial units in the state on the recommendation (February 2005) of the State level Apex Projects Clearance Committee.

The policy provisions provide to make mandatory for the pesticide/insecticide industrial units to obtain ISO 14000 certification within a period of two years from the date of the commencement of the industrial production and in the event of their failure to do so, the registration of such unit was to be cancelled. Further on the instructions (DEC 2006) of the Chief Minister of the state, the Director Industries and commerce placed (Jan 2007) activity of manufacturing of pesticides, insecticides and weedicides on the restricted list in view of the hazardous nature of these units for health of the people. This activity was banned by the neighboring state of Himachal Pradesh in 2003.

Audit scrutiny of records , however, showed that the pesticides/insecticides/weedicides industrial units established in the state during the years from 2006-07 to 2010-11 had not obtained ISO 14000 certification even after the completion of period ranging from two to six years from the date of commencement of production of these industrial units. The Director industries and commerce instead of taking action against such industrial units provided incentives in the form of various subsidies to the extent of Rs. 9.47 crore to 15 industrial units during the period 2008-12. This indicated casual approach of the dept towards the health of the people. The Director, Industries and Commerce stated that it was not clear whether any formal order was issued. However, all the General Managers had been instructed to obtain requisite ISI-14000 certificates. The J&K state pollution control board granted (March 2008) consent in favour of M/S Cecil Pharmaceuticals Private limited valid upto November 2008. The Director Industries and Commerce, Jammu and General Manager DIC , Jammu did not demand renewed consent to operate from the industrial unit and instead paid subsidiesof Rs. 65.67 lakhon account of capital investment, generator set and testing equipment in favour of the unit from December 2008 to March 2010.

The J&K State pollution control board ordered (February 2011) closure of the unit in view of the unauthorized operation from December 2008. The General Manager, DIC, Jammu stated (August 2012) that a notice had been issued to the unit holder for the refund of the subsidy. The reply should be seen in light of non-fulfillment of required formalities by the Director, Industries and Commerce, Jammu and General Manager, DIC, Jammu before sanctioning of subsidies.


                                                     Padder's Sapphire Potential to be Tapped Fully: Kichloo



ET

KISHTWAR, May 4: Minister of State for Industries and Commerce and Home, Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo, today inaugurated a Fire Service Station at Atholi, Padder here, which is almost 100-km away from the district headquarters. The Minister also inaugurated new Police Quarters' Complex during his two-day visit to one of the remotest pockets of the newly-created district.

Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar, Mohammad Saleem, Director, Fire and Emergency Services, Jammu, S. Sodhi, SP Kishtwar, Kulbir Singh, besides several senior District Officers were present on the occasion. Later addressing a huge gathering, the Minister said there is a huge global demand for pure Padder sapphire. "Sapphire holds key to the economic development of the region. The Government has invited tenders and mining will start soon. We will ensure that it has a cascading effect and enough opportunities for local employment are created in the process," he assured, adding new scientific mining techniques will be adopted to further improve the quality. Padder holds the distinction of producing the best quality sapphire, peacock velvet blue, which is not the case with other similar stones.

Earlier, the Minister, along with his team of Divisional officers of Industries & Commerce Department and District Officers of Kishtwar, held a series of meetings at Dool, Noose, Padarna, Patherlekhi, Keeru, Kwar and Karthai during which he assured the people that all their genuine problems will be addressed on priority.


                                             Kichloo Urges Youth to Target Jobs in Industry

Jammu, May 3: Minister of State for Industry and Commerce, Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo, has said that the Government is actively promoting self-employment ventures for absorption of skilled youth in the industrial sector.

The Minister said this while addressing a large gathering at Palmar in Kishtwar on Thursday. Interacting with the residents, the Minister reiterated government’s commitment to create job avenues for youth in the industrial sector. “Our youth should not only be after Government jobs but also explore possibilities of employment in industrial and tourism sector,” he, according to an official statement, said. The Minister directed the officers of Handloom Department to adopt cluster approach for promoting making of Kishtwari blanket. “We need to popularize this great art of making blankets by adopting new techniques,” he said, adding that the Handloom Development Corporation will step in to market the product.

On the occasion, Kichloo announced setting up of 4 cutting and tailoring centres, sheep centre and ambulance for Razna in Palmar. “We will soon sanction a fire station, provide solar lights and cookers and smokeless chulas for the people of this remote area,” he said. Meanwhile, the Minister also took stock of damage caused by the earthquake that hit erstwhile Doda-Himachal belt on Tuesday. He asked the Deputy Commissioner to immediately carry out the survey to assess the actual damage to the property so that the affected people are compensated


                            Labour Day: 35 Stone-Dressing Units Demolished in Kashmir


Thursday, 02 May 2013 20:19 KDNN .

Without taking them into confidence, District administration on Labors Day dismantled scores of units of Stone Masons and Chiselers near Sampora Panthchowk. The administration demolished 35 units during the late hours on Wednesday. “We were not taken on board. The administration kept us in dark and without our prior information they dismantled all our 35 units,” one of the stone-mason, Mohammad Siduqe Mir told CNS and added that the district administration acted in an autocratic manner.

Scores of stone-dressers and chiselers staged protest against the administration and demanded a suitable alternative place for them. District Development Commissioner Srinagar, Farooq Ahmed Shah said that there was no alternative except demolishing these units. “It was become inevitable as the government is mulling for road-widening. We have already allotted them land and I don’t think they should have any problem at all,” he said.

Meanwhile, the stone-dressers and Chiselers alleged that the land, which the government intends to allot them, is a flood channel and some portion of the land belongs to Auqaf, which demands rent from them. “Why we will accept land which doesn’t suit to our industry,”Political Secretary to Chief Minister, Tanvir Sadiq said that he will look into the matter and “all their problems will be redressed. I will personally visit the site within few days,” he said.





                               'Kashmir can get `10 lakh Cr. Investments by Allowing SEZs'
GK

Srinagar, May 2: Chairman, Spice Global - a multinational company, Dr Bhupendra Kumar Modi today said if the state government allowed establishment of Special Economic Zones, Kashmir could get Rs 10 lakh crore foreign investments. He urged the state government to provide land to outside investors for establishing SEZs here. “State government should earmark land in Kashmir for establishing SEZs so that investors can invest here.” Modi said Kashmir was the best place for setting up 7-star hotels and high-end bungalows for high-end tourists. Modi who was here today said that Kashmir for its beautiful locales was best suited for hotels and guesthouses. “If the government allows SEZs, I am sure this place can generate more than 10 lakh crore foreign investments,” he said.

Spice group, a reputed name in the manufacturing cellular phones is also producing Bollywood films. “After visiting this place I have decided to shoot my next film here,” Modi said, adding that this place was better than many other foreign locales. Spice Global had recently produced Akshay Kumar-starrer Oh My God. Modi said his multi-faceted group has expanded its footprints to New York, London, ASEAN, Middle East and parts of China and Africa besides India.

The Group is headquartered in Singapore with nearly 9,000 employees in 20 countries. He said: “Spice Global began its operations in the early 1980s as Modi Corp, then MCorp Global and later Spice Corp. Based on over three decades of success in diverse industries, Spice Global transformed the business landscape with pioneering innovations.” It is credited with introducing photocopiers, facsimile, floppy drives, first mobile GSM service call, first Indian brand of mobile hand-sets, first dual SIM phones and the first 3D phones in India.

                        Mercy Corps brings together start-ups, established entrepreneurs
                                ‘Explore angel investment, venture capital options’

GK
Srinagar, May 2: Endeavouring to guide and mentor the aspiring entrepreneurs and new start-ups, international development agency, Mercy Corps, today held an awareness-cum-interactive session of aspiring and established entrepreneurs. The programme was held under its Start-up Kashmir Youth Entrepreneur (SKYE) development project in Kashmir. Syed Suhail Kazmi, Co-founder and Managing Partner at “Friends of Ambition”, who was the chief guest chaired the session and interacted with the young Kashmiri entrepreneurs who have are in the process of establishing their ventures.

Kazmi’s company is a growth advisory firm focusing on ambitious businesses in tier-II and tier-III cities of India and helps them grow their turnover, product and service portfolio, geographic footprint, profitability and socio- economic impact. Young Kashmiri entrepreneurs spoke about the challenges as well as the opportunities they faced while working on their start-ups. Many established entrepreneurs also shared their experiences with their younger colleagues. Kazmi, who has served several national and international banks in various capacities at the top management level before venturing into the field of entrepreneurship, shared how his company was helping small and medium scale business in various Indian cities expand and grow.

He urged the young entrepreneurs to explore new opportunities as well as those of angel investment and venture capital, which could also help their businesses to grow and scale-up. “Entrepreneurship is just about establishing a new business. It is more about sustaining it,” he said. “As young entrepreneurs you should work hard with perseverance and passion. You have to be boringly consistent,” he remarked. He said he was ready to help the Kashmiri entrepreneurs who he said were full of energy and passionate about what they were doing.


                                `No System to Check Quantity of Minerals Extracted'
                                                CAG Pulls Industries Department

ET
JAMMU, May 1: Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has pulled department of Industries and Commerce for having no mechanism in place to check the quantities of minerals extracted and lifted by the lessees from the mineral sites. Section 23(C) (a) (B) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act , 1957 envisage establishment of check posts and weigh bridges to check minerals under transit and to measure the quantity of mineral being transported so as to prevent illegal mining, transportation and storage of materials.
Test-check of records showed that there was only one post at Udhampur in Jammu province and the mineral check posts in Kashmir Province were functional only from 9 AM to 5PM making these check posts vulnerable due to absence of round the clock vigil.

Industries and Commerce Department had not taken any measures in this regard despite the fact that in April 2010 State Vigilance Organization had alerted the department to man the mineral check posts during late hours as transportation of minerals took place in early morning/evening hours and during nights due to non-permission of heavy vehicles including trucks to ply on roads during day time. The department has not installed weigh bridges at the mineral sites for measuring the quantities of minerals extracted and had instead relied upon the figures communicated by the lessees. Thus, Industries and Commerce Department had no fool proof mechanism of carrying out checks of mineral quantities lifted by the lessees from sites. Non-establishment of weigh bridges was indicative of lax approach of the department to prevent extra extraction and transportation of the minerals in the State.

In March 2012 the Mining officer, Kashmir stated that weigh bridges had not been installed, in February 2012 the Mining officer, Jammu accepted the Audit observations and stated that installation of weigh bridges will be considered and taken up with the Director, Geology and Mining for obtaining the required funds.

                                       SERC Directives to PDD
-Editorial
DE
Not to speak of outsiders like media and civil society leadership, even State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) has expressed its unhappiness with the inefficiency of Power Development Department. SERC has been concerned with faulty and erratic functioning of PDD. Its Tariff Order for the financial year 2008-09 had concentrated on actions designed to bring financial independence to PDD by improving revenue generation in accordance with a variety of suggestions put forth by the Commission. As everybody knows there continues to be a big gap between revenue and expenditure in PDD resulting in the State spending huge amount annually on purchase of power from other states. Our big losses are in Transmission and Distribution sector. The SERC had suggested many reforms in T&D sector but it regrets that most of those reforms have not been implemented by the PDD. There appears to be fundamental variation in the perception of SERC and the PDD, all to the dismay and distress to ordinary consumers of electric power. Tariff regime proposed by PDD for the financial year 2013-14, is at variance with the one suggested by PDD. In some sectors, the Commission has reduced percentage of tariff while it has been increased in other sectors. The Commission does not mince words in saying that its expectation of PDD improving performance and additional resources generation based on tariff structure and rate changes allowed by the Commission have not come true. Several directives issued in tariff orders remained ineffective. Contrary to all this efficiency levels have deteriorated and the revenue gap has alarmingly increased over the years, the Commission observes.

Commission’s tariff report for 2013-14, when examined in its totality, is indicative of inefficiency and incompetence ruling the roost in PDD. Surprisingly, the Commission has observed that the actual losses on account of transmission and distribution are higher than those proposed by the PDD itself in previous tariff orders. The Commission observes that it is a matter of regret that the level of T&D losses in the State is the highest in the country. The question is why is there such a gap in the perceptions of two organizations dealing with one service of supply of electric power for public consumption? For example, the SERC has ordered average 8.5 % increase in the power tariff for the current financial year against 13.53 % hike proposed by the PDD. However, the Commission has put additional burden on several other categories where hike is ranging between 2 and 15% which is much more in comparison to the power tariff of 2011-12. PDD has proposed 10 % hike in category which the Commission has reduced to 8 per cent. The difference in perceptions is that the PDD believes that the objective of revenue generation can be achieved by raising tariff in domestic category. But the Commission contradicts it and has retained only 8 per cent hike in that category. Again while the PDD had proposed 9 % hike in non-domestic category, the Commission has gone beyond and ordered 12 % hike for the same category.

SERC’s Retail Tariff Order for Financial Year 2013-14 somehow strengthens the belief of ordinary consumer that there is lack of rationalization of tariff at the higher levels in the Power Supply Department that adversely affects him. The Government should step in to remove the impression from the mind of ordinary consumers that justice is not being done to them. In these columns we have repeatedly recommended drastic overhauling of the PDD that has been accused of inefficiency but also of mismanagement. The Government has received many a brickbat on account of its failed power supply policy. This sordid situation should come to an end now. We don’t think that the situation is beyond retrieval. There are vested interests here and there, and there are bottlenecks as well. State Government needs to study how power supply service is efficiently handled in other states of the country and it should be possible to emulate the example. If politics comes in to play a role in all sectors of power from selecting a site for generating hydroelectric power to revenue collection, then we shall never have efficient, regular and uninterrupted power supply system. PDD will never be able to make any improvement and the result will be that people will continue to suffer on account of insensitivity of the ruling class

                         SERC Orders Average 8.5% Increase in Power Tariff 8% Hike
                                        in Domestic, 2% to 15% in other Categories
DE
JAMMU, Apr 26: State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) today ordered average 8.5% increase in the power tariff for the current financial year as against 13.53% hike proposed by the Power Development Department. Though hike in domestic category has been kept at par with the increase effected during the last financial year, additional burden has been put on several other categories where hike is ranging between 2% to 15%, which is much more in comparison to the power tariff of 2012-13 year.

                                       


The Commission has also expressed grave concern over the scenario vis-à-vis Transmission and Distribution losses in the State and remarked, “despite the fact that such losses in J&K continue to be amongst the highest in the country and at unacceptably high levels, there seems to be no serious efforts from the Power Development Department to contain the same and the directives issued in the previous tariff orders have not been strictly adhered to resulting into deterioration of efficiency levels and alarming increase in the revenue gap over the years”.
According to the order on Retail Tariff for Financial Year 2013-14 issued by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission today, as against 10% hike proposed by the Power Development Department in the power tariff for the domestic category consumers, the SERC has approved 8% increase. However, in the non-domestic category, the Commission has gone much beyond the hike proposed by the PDD. The SERC has approved 12% hike in this category as against only 9% proposed by the Department.

For the State/Central Government Departments, the PDD had proposed 15% hike but the Commission has ordered only 2%. However, in case of Agriculture category, the Commission has gone beyond the hike proposed by the PDD. As against 11% hike proposed by the Department the Commission has approved 12% hike.

For LT Industrial, the Commission has approved 12% hike as against 15% proposed by the department while as for HT Industrial category the Commission has approved only 9% hike as against 20% proposed by the PDD. An increase of 12% has been approved by the SERC as against 20% proposed by the PDD in HT PIU category. For bulk supply, hike of 8% has been approved as against 20% proposed by the Department.

Barring domestic and State/Central Government Department categories, there has been significant hike in the tariff for other categories of consumers this year as compared to the previous financial year. In the non-domestic/commercial category there was 7% hike in 2012-13 but this year the same has gone to 12%. Similarly, for agriculture category there was only 5% hike during last financial year but this year the Commission has approved increase of 12%.

Likewise, as against 7% hike in LT Industrial Supply category during last financial year, the Commission has ordered 12% increase for the current financial year. Even for the HT Industrial Supply category the Commission has increased tariff for 2013-14 financial year by 9% as against only 5% during 2012-13 financial year.

“The Commission, at the time of issuance of the Tariff Order for FY 2008-09, had expected that the PDD would gradually move towards financial viability due to improvements in the performance and additional resource would be generated based on tariff structure and rate changes allowed by the Commission. In view of this, several directives were issued in the tariff orders for achieving this objective. However, contrary to the expectations of the Commission, efficiency levels have deteriorated and the revenue gap has alarmingly increased over the years”, the order said.

The Commission has also noted with concern that the PDD has repeatedly failed to achieve the target for loss as set out by SERC in its previous Tariff Orders. “The actual T&D losses submitted are higher than that proposed by the PDD itself in previous Tariff Orders”, the Commission said, adding “it is a matter of great concern that the T&D losses in the State continue to be at unacceptably high levels”.

“In addition to the T&D loss levels, the PDD is not able to recover the amount that is being billed to the consumers”, the Commission said, adding “the financial viability of the PDD can be achieved by ensuring improvement in efficiency levels and reducing existing level of T&D losses and improving collection

                             Is Govt Serious about Promoting Industrial Sector?
                                JK Seeks Renewal of Central Industrial Policy


ET

JAMMU, Apr 27: By demanding renewal of the Central Industrial Policy (CIP) it appears that State Government is keen to promote industrial sector in the State, which unfortunately does not seem to be true going by the working of State Industries and Commerce Department which throughout the years have remained ineffective to boost the sector.

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India have pulled Industries and Commerce Department for incurring unproductive expenditure. CAG has observed that due to unplanned execution and consequent non-completion/non-commissioning of five industrial estates by Industries and Commerce Department, an expenditure of Rs 56.65 crore remained unproductive. Further due to non-acquisition of land for Industrial Growth Centre, Samba Rs 36.61 crore advanced to collectors remained locked up.

Audit scrutiny of records revealed that Industries and Commerce Department had taken up execution of IID Centre Govindsur Kathua, Industrial Estate Ghatti Kathua, Industrial Estate Lassipora, Pulwama, Food Park Doabgah Sopore and Common Facility center Sather Anantnag in an unplanned manner viz. non-provision of electric and water supply facilities and non-utilization of entire plant and machinery. This resulted in non-completion of all the five projects, rendering the expenditure of Rs 56.65 crore incurred thereon unproductive. The unplanned execution and consequent incompletion of these industrial estates and growth centers deprived the prospective investors the opportunity to invest in the projects for setting up industrial units in these centers/estates.

In another case of failure by the department, the indent of the acquisition of land measuring about 2763 kanals for Phase-3 of the Industrial Growth Centre Samba was placed in September 2000 by the Director, Industries and Commerce to the Collector Land acquisition. For this purpose 36.61 crore had been placed (upto March 2006: Rs 5.18 crore; 2007-12: Rs 31.43 crore) at the disposal of Collector Land Acquisition, Samba against an estimated cost of compensation of Rs 9.16 crore. The land had not been acquired and in July 2011 Additional Deputy Commissioner Samba, meanwhile revised the compensation amount required for land acquisition to Rs 66.87 crore. As a result a non-acquisition of land, the Growth centre could not be developed and Rs 36.61 crore continued to remain locked up.

Also seven industrial estates (Lamberi, Beoli, Bidda, Majalta, Sunderbani and Mandipora) could not be established despite delay ranging between five to eight years from the date of placement of indents due to non-acquisition of identified land by the Revenue Department. As a result Rs 88.20 lakh advanced to collectors (Collector Land Acquisition, Anantnag: Rs 38.20 lakh and Collector Land Acquisition, Doda: Rs 50 lakh) during the years from 2003-04 to 2007-08 remain unutilized as of March 2012.

In August/July 2012 the Directors, Industries and Commerce Kashmir as well as Jammu stated that steps had been taken to expedite the process of acquisition of land. The reply should be seen in light of the fact that despite delay of five to eight years, land had not been acquired by Industries and Commerce Department.

                                           Growth of Industrial Sector-Editorial
DE -25th,April 2013

J&K has not stepped on to the industrial map of India. Some consider its geography and topography a hindrance in fast industrial development. Others attribute it to absence of industrial culture, skilled labour and proper will to turn the table. Whatever be the reason, the fact is that industrialization in our country has happened owing to strong initiatives of private entrepreneurship. Call it political uncertainty or understanding deficit or whatever, we have lagged behind. But the time has come when the entire matter of industrial sector of the State needs to be recast. We need a definite and clear cut industrial policy before we actually proceed on identifying the industries that will be taken up for development. Chief Minister’s suggestion of constituting Committees to be headed by Economic Advisor to the Government for framing sub-policy packages for industrially backward districts and various service sectors is a significant step forward in the direction of industrializing the State. It has to be reminded that the Union Government has always been making liberal offers and concessions for the growth of industrial sector in the state. Not only that, the Centre has been dismayed on some of the sanctioned projects for the State not taking off for one or the other reason. It is heartening to know that the Chief Minister, while speaking in the meeting of J&K State Industrial Advisory Committee (IAC) recently, has clarified the policy of the Government in regard to industry and trade. In particular, backward districts of the State have to be treated on priority basis. Development of industries has been universally considered as key to overcoming the problem of unemployment among the youth. It was with this objective that the Prime Minister’s economic package provided opportunities for training our youth in various skills so that they would become instrumental in industrial entrepreneurship.

The CM is right in saying that industrialization of the State should be of uniform approach. This means that all districts in the State cannot have same industrial outlook for growth but each district has to be treated on its merits. These are technicalities of the projects that experts will deliberate upon when giving final shape to industrial policy. The CM has reiterated his demand that an integrated rail coach factory should be opened in the State. This is a very attractive and feasible suggestion. Now that Kashmir has been brought on the railway map of India and that further expansion of rail link inside the state is on the anvil, it is in fitness of things that a coach factory is established in the State. Rail connectivity in the State has huge prospect in years to come. The Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch rail link survey has already been completed. So is the Baramulla – Lolab link under consideration. All this augurs well for laying foundation for a rail coach factory. This will generate employment for skilled as well as non-skilled personnel. Rail coach factory means developing auxiliary industries also for which there is good scope. We are hopeful that given the goodwill of the Union Government to help J&K grow industrially, establishment of a coach factory will be considered on priority basis.

The State Government will need strengthening of its policy of providing incentives to local entrepreneurs in many ways to develop small scale as well as medium scale industries. Incentives in terms of easy and sufficient bank loans, land on lease, tax relaxation, support in exploring marketing opportunities etc. are the areas in which the government will have to make strong intervention. Along with crystallization of industrial policy, the government is also seized with the idea of adopting new parameters of balanced trade policy to augment trade and commerce of the state. All these efforts will go a long way in reducing unemployment in the State and helping it to move on to stages of prosperity and self sufficiency


                                                        JK Trade Policy on Cards
                                          Omar Reiterates Demand for Rail Coach Factory

GK NEWS

Jammu, Apr 23: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday reiterated the demand for rail coach factory in the state to overcome the economic stress and address unemployment problem caused due to 20 years of turmoil. The Chief Minister said that this matter would be given further thrust at the Union Government level adding that such an initiative by the Central Government is significantly needed to expand economic activities, give fillip to industrialization and create substantial jobs for youth.

Chairing a meeting of J&K State Industrial Advisory Committee (IAC) of which he is the Chairman also, the Chief Minister directed for constitution of Committees to be headed by Economic Advisor to the Government for framing sub policy packages for industrially backward districts and service sectors like agriculture, IT, transport etc to help growth and development of feasible industries all across the State.

Omar, according to an official statement, said that the benefits of packages and concessions available in the field of industry should accrue universally bringing industrially backward districts under its focus properly. He said identification of areas for launch of feasible industrial units and encouraging budding entrepreneurs at district level should form the important ingredient of this programme. He said there is greater scope for establishing industrial units especially in MSME sector in all the districts of the State. “This needs to be harnessed and youth facilitated and encouraged to come forward and be players in the industrial development process in the State”, he added.

Highlighting the need for a comprehensive Trade Policy in the State, the Chief Minister directed the Committee he has constituted in this respect recently, to timeline its task and come up with the Policy as soon as possible.
He said a well defined Trade Policy is essential to help the growth and expansion of trade and commerce activities and encourage young people to venture in this sector.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Chief Minister, Tara Chand, Minister of State for Industries, Sajjad Ahmad Kitchloo, Chief Secretary, Muhammad Iqbal Khandey, Economic Advisor to the Government, Jalil Ahmad Khan, Principal Secretary Planning, B. R. Sharma, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Commissioner Secretaries of various departments, senior officers and representatives of trade, commerce and industrial bodies from Kashmir and Jammu.


                                         22 new industrial estates to come up
  Omar seeks industrial policy for backward districts

J
ammu, Apr 23: Commissioner Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department, Shantmanu today said that about 22 places have been identified in the State for developing industrial estates. He said the task is being carried forward on fast track and the programme at present is at the stages of acquisition of land and process of identification of feasible locations. The commissioner was speaking at a meeting of J&K State Industrial Advisory Committee (IAC), which was chaired by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

In a PowerPoint presentation, Shantmanu gave overview of the activities under way in the State for the growth and development of industrial sector and creation of new industrial estates at different places in the State.

The meeting was informed that
in Kashmir division new industrial estates are proposed at Government Match Factory Barmaulla, Khanmoh, Chattergam, Mohammoodabad, Dooru, Waripora in Tangmarg, Takia Razak, Shahtral in Pulwama, Kunan, Poshpora in Kupwara, Malwan in Kulgam, Khalmulla and Takia in Ganderbal, Aglar in Shopian, Khurbathong in Kargil and Khrew near Khanmoh.

In Jammu division the estates are being developed at Khudali, Pochal in Kishtwar, Lambri in Rajouri, Surankote in Poonch, Beoli in Doda, Nimbla in Reasi, Dambra in Billawar, Chack Bulanda in Hiranagar and Majalta in Udhampur.

It was further said that 2763 kanals of land for IGC Samba, Phase-III at Village Krandi Ramnagar and Rakh Tambteli is under execution for which over Rs. 43.10 crore have been advanced to the Collector. Another chunk of 3502 kanals of land is under development for industrial estate Ghati Kathua.

The meeting discussed matters relating to the industrial policy, labour issues, incentives, subsidy, extension of Government of India package, taxation matters, VAT refund, review of customs duty on copper, power sector issues, improvement to power infrastructure, etc. The meeting also discussed issues relating to forest and pollution control, creation of infrastructure, marketing support, building fee, MSME sector, skill development, raw material for Pashmina, work tax on job work and other matters relating to the industrial development in the State.

Cotton supplied to hospitals turns out to be substandard
INTERNAL PROBE ON: MINISTER

Jammu, Apr 23: While the stinking ‘spurious drug’ scam refuses to die down, in yet another bizarre revelation, it has come to fore that the cotton supplied to government hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir is of substandard quality. Official sources said that following the latest revelations, the Health Department has kept the supply of fresh cotton on hold and has instead started purchasing it from the open market at exorbitant rates.

Reliable sources informed Greater Kashmir that after it was found that cotton being supplied to the Government Medical Colleges (GMC) and its associated hospitals in the state is of very poor quality and below specifications, the supply was stopped and inquiry ordered into the matter. “We have stopped bulk purchase of cotton and are now purchasing it locally from open market on need basis”, sources within the department informed adding that the rate approved for the bulk supply was Rs 69 per 500 gm of cotton whereas locally, the same quantity is being purchased at Rs 89 to Rs 90 per 500 gm. “It is causing big loss to the state exchequer”, they added.

Sources told that the contract for supply of cotton to GMC and its associated hospitals in the state was allotted to a supplier for the year 2012-13 and a rate of Rs 69 per 500 gm of cotton was approved by the committee. “The supplier first did not supply the cotton. Later, after pressure from the hospital administration, they supplied it but it was found out to be of poor quality and below specifications after which the supply was stopped by the administration”, they informed adding that for the last around nine to ten months, cotton is now being purchased from the open market which is causing a big loss to the state exchequer.

Minister for Medical Education, Taj Mohi-ud-Din, while talking to Greater Kashmir, also confirmed that cotton being supplied to the hospitals was below specifications and as such it is being purchased from the open market on need basis. “We have stopped bulk purchase and are now purchasing it locally as per the need and requirement”, he said adding, “An inquiry over the matter is also going on and samples for testing have also been sent to Kolkatta about one month back”. He added that appropriate action will be taken after the report.
Health Minister, Shabir Khan, has also assured strict action against such firms.

                                   JK CONSUMERS PAY HIGHEST ELECTRICITY DUTY IN INDIA
                                  Against 22% In The State, It’s Between 3 To 13% In Other States


GK
Srinagar, Apr 22: Even as J&K holds the ignominious distinction of imposing harshest power cuts on its consumers, they are, surprisingly, being charged three times more electricity tariff as compared to consumers other states. While consumers have to pay 22 percent electricity duty that goes into the kitty of the State Government, the same is much lower in other parts of the country – just around five percent. According to statistics available with this newspaper, five percent electricity duty is levied on domestic consumers in states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Delhi. And in a state like Himachal Pradesh, which has been able to invest heavily in generating hydropower, the duty is very low – around 3 percent. While in Punjab and Kerala, consumers have to shell out 13 and 10 percent electricity duty respectively. Pertinently, JK has failed to harness its vast hydroelectricity potential while the Central Government’s NHPC has made fortunes out of the State’s waters.

An official of PDD said the duty is chargeable from consumers of all categories - domestic, commercial, industrial and J&K government departments – but the central government departments are exempted from the charges. “The duty is being charged against all categories except the central government departments in consonance with the State Law (J&K Electricity Duty Act 1963). The Central Government departments, Defense Forces and Indian Railways are exempted from paying electricity duty as per sub section 3(A) & 3(B) of the Act,” the official said.

Explaining charging of the electricity duty, the official said for instance if PDD raises a monthly bill of Rs 1220 against a consumer only Rs 1000 are the real charges for energy consumption. “While remaining Rs 220 are charged as electricity duty @ 22 percent,” he added. He said whenever tariff is hiked, the duty automatically also takes a quantum jump. “For instance, against the energy consumption of Rs 100, a consumer has to pay Rs 122 (including Rs 22 electricity duty) and if the same is hiked to Rs 200 then he has to pay Rs 244 (including Rs 44 duty),” he added. The magnitude of heavy taxation on electricity in the state can be gauged from the fact that Uttar Pradesh having 80 Parliamentary segments generates only two and a half times revenue more than JK on account of the same. While UP fetched Rs 259 crore and Rs 286 crore on account of the duty in 2007-08, 2008-09 respectively, JK generated Rs 99 crore and 108 crore in these two years on same charges. Interestingly, Jammu and Kashmir government has turned deaf ear to repeat pleas of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) to reduce the electricity duty.

“The levy of electricity duty is the matter of state government and the Commission has no role to play in deciding the same. However, the Commission believes that electricity duty of 22% of energy charge is high and needs to be rationalized. The rate of 22% electricity duty was fixed when the rate of energy charges were very low, but now the situation has changed and the electricity duty needs to be revisited by the State Government,” the Commission’s order for 2012-13 power tariff reads. “The State Government may undertake a study to compare the electricity duty rates applicable in various states of the country, especially the neighboring states for correct appreciation of the State’s electricity duty,” the Commission said in its tariff order for 2011-12


                                          JK Ideal for Food, Fruit Processing Industry: Kichloo


Et Plus Report

Jammu, Apr 22: Minister of State for Industries & Commerce, Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo today underlined the significance of food processing industry and stated the sector has the potential to become beacon of industrial development in the State. The Minister said this while inaugurating a Seminar on "National Mission on Food Processing and Capacity Building", which was attended by over 100 entrepreneurs at Riviera Inn, here today. The programme is being organized by SIDCO in association with National Skills Foundation of India to make entrepreneurs aware about National Mission on Food Processing and to train and sensitize them on vital issues related to food processing.

Addressing the gathering, the Minister emphasized the need to provide fillip to the food processing sector by making certain technical interventions to boost the industry. "The topography of the State is conducive to support food processing industry provided we make a few effective technical interventions. Capacity building and use of modern technology can go a long way in the growth of food sector in the State," he added. Calling upon the participants to make use of the training to be imparted by experts in food processing during various Technical Sessions, the Minister said under National Mission on Food Processing, funding and loans to set up new food processing units and modernization of existing units will be provided.


                                           Stone Crushers Violating Norms with Impunity
                                                           Rules are for Fools



ET
JAMMU, Apr 22: The axiom "Rules are for fools", seems fit in environment sensitive State like Jammu and Kashmir, where over 688 stone crushing units are blatantly violating the norms formulated for minimizing the pollution. For the last many years these units have been blatantly violating the norms but concerned administration has deliberately turned a Nelson's eye, owing to enormous money given by these owners on the cost of State's environment.

Sources informed Early Time Plus that there were over 688 registered stone crusher units across the State out of which 411 were operating in Kashmir region. "Being a red category industry, the pollution control norms for the stone crushers are strict but are being violated across State. As per norms of State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), there should be three rows of wide leave trees encircling the stone crusher for reducing the impact of dust emission. But not a single tree has been planted at most of such units in Jammu region", sources said. They said the idea of plantation was to reduce the range of dispersal of dust particles as the fine dust produced during the crushing operation, posed a great health hazard for the workers as well as for surrounding population. "The dust also adversely affects visibility, reduces growth of vegetation and hampers aesthetic sight of the area. It can also cause lung cancer and several other ailments after entering into a human body," they added.
Sources said that to reduce the force in the dispersal of dust, the management of stone crushing units must have to install water sprinklers at the site. "Contrary to this, most of the crushing units do not have water sprinklers as it involves a huge cost and if anyone is using the same, they throw out the used water without treating it," sources said.

"Most of the stone crusher units are installed on the banks of seasonal streams which have scanty of water or are totally dry. To manage water for sprinkling costs more, so majority of crusher owners avoid using water sprinklers," they added. They further said that the approach road to a crusher should be macadamized and sprayed regularly with water. Besides the crushed material and truck laden with material should also be covered, but these rules are also being violated, sources said. An environmentalist preferring anonymity alleged that most of the crushing unit owners have strong political links and are also hand in glove with the authorities. "Huge amount of money is involved in entire trade so Government as well the enforcement authorities have shut their eyes to these blatant violations since last many decades," he alleged.

                                           Valley's Candle Industry Sinks into Pitch Darkness


SRINAGAR, Apr 17: In a major setback to the industrial sector of the Valley, candle manufacturing units are dying a slow death in Kashmir. Over 70 percent of the units manufacturing candles have closed down while remaining 30percent are either sick or are on verge of closing down. Earlier, a single unit would do average sales worth Rs 25-40 lakhs annually which has now gone down to barely 10 lakhs.

"The candle units are slowly dying in Kashmir. If care is not taken in time, they might completely vanish from here," said Afaq Qadri, executive council member of Federation of Commerce and Industry in Kashmir. Qadri has been in candle manufacturing business for the past 23 years. Qadri had started his unit way back in 1988. The business went on very well for years. But now it is witnessing a down slide, he says. "Candle manufacturing was a lucrative venture. Raw material would be imported mainly from Afghanistan and other parts of India." He said that some years back, Kashmir had over 70 units making candles which have now shrunk to 10-15 units. "Most of the units now are declared sick." Stating the reasons for the decline of the industry in Kashmir, he cites government negligence besides the introduction of modern lighting equipments in Kashmir.

"There are many modern lanterns, generators and batteries available in the market that have replaced candles in the households of Kashmir. The decline in the demand of candles has contributed to the death of this industrial sector." Qadri says while candles are used in festivals and other occasions in India, its usage is limited in Kashmir. "The major demand in Kashmir is from the rural areas and not urban." Qadri blamed the non seriousness of the government in snapping life out of this sector. "Even if our local demand is declining, we could do great business by exporting the locally manufactured candles."

He says that the programs and incentives meant for the benefit of the industrialists are only on papers. It is just the big business houses who are able to reap the benefits, Qadri complains. "There are so many sick units here but government is doing nothing about them. Our authorities are sleeping over the current state of our industrial sector."

Talking to Early Times, Bilal Ahmad, Joint Director, Department of Industries and Commerce said that dearth of demand has given a blow to the candle units which are shrinking gradually. He said that people must come forward and work to establish cluster units. "We can involve orphans and unemployed youth through cluster units. But since it is no more commercially viable, people do not opt for it," said Bilal. He did not express mush hope in the revival of this industrial sector.


                                                         Hotmix Plant Owners Demand Release of Payment
GK

Srinagar, Apr 15: The Hotmix plant owners today demanded immediate release of their dues. They alleged that state government had withheld their payments to the tune of Rs 161 crore for works already completed over the past four years. “There are bills worth Rs 160 crore pending with the government which they are not releasing despite time and again pleading before them,” said Ghulam Jeelani Purza, Vice chairman , Hot Mix Plant Owners Association. He said that that they have taken up the issue with the government at all levels, but the officials always turn deaf ear to their demands.

“We went to everyone, but to no avail. We met Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and he assured us the payment would be released soon, but nothing happened. They only make hollow promises,” he said. Purza said while the government has unjustly increased the service tax from 4.5 to 10.5 per cent, “it is not paying heed to the genuine demand of the contractors.”


                                                Inadmissible Tax Exemptions Cost State `5.5 Cr. : CAG


Jammu, Apr 15: Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pulled up the Industries department for allowing inadmissible exemption of Rs 5.50 crore toll tax to industrial units. The exemption, according to CAG, has been allowed on account of additional toll on raw material and consumables procured from outside state and the finished products exported.

The CAG in its report states that the state government had issued notification on January 31, 2004 exempting registered industrial units from payment of additional toll on raw material and consumables, except edible and non-edible oils, procured from outside the state. It has exemption on account of finished goods exported by these units.

The CAG noticed that 8 industrial units were exempted from the payment of additional toll to the extent of Rs 1.07 corer on import of 24193.17 Metric Tones (MT) of Mentha oil during 2006 to March 2012. The CAG report also revealed that the Aneja Dairy, Kathua engaged in manufacture of Desi Ghee, Butter, Cream and Skimmed milk was wrongly allowed exemption of toll tax of Rs 4.02 crore on import of 88484 MTs of raw milk used for processing it into skimmed milk from January 2007 to December 2011. This resulted in inadmissible exemption from payment of additional toll of Rs 4.02 crore to industrial unit, it noted.

The CAG states that MS Jindal Photo Limited Samba registered as a manufacturing unit for slitting of Jumbo rolls of photographic paper into different sizes was given an exemption of Rs 49.08 lakh toll tax.



                          Mir inaugurates All India Rice Workers Group meeting

KT

SRINAGAR, Apr 14: Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir Sunday inaugurated the 3 day 48th All India Annual Rice Workers Group meeting at SKICC Srinagar. In all 248 delegates from various parts of India participated in the meeting, held for the first time in the valley. The meeting was jointly organized by SKUAST, Kashmir and Directorate of Rice Research, Hyderabad. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister while welcoming delegates said that the primary challenge for researchers is to make significant contributions which would include keeping rice affordable, slash poverty, reduce malnutrition, cut climate change impacts and ‘greener’ rice by reducing the water and environmental footprint of rice production.

Mir said Rice is the world’s most important food crop consumed by more than half of the world’s population. He said the crop will become increasingly important in the next century because of wide amplitude of its adaptation. He said more than 90 percent of the earth’s rice is grown and consumed in Asia where 60 percent of the world population lives. Agriculture Minister said that rice is the principal crop cultivated in Kashmir valley, adding that it is grown on about 1.5 lakh hectares which comprise almost 50 percent of total area under different crops cultivation in the region. Mir informed that the population of rice has gone up to 5.28 lakh tons which sustains the demand to the extended of 60 percent, necessitating the significant imports from outside the valley. The Minister emphasized on all stake holders to bridge the gap between the demand and supply of food grains. He said that the popularization of Rice-Wheat cropping system should be the focus of the scientists and development agencies.



                                         15 Pesticide Companies Get Incentives
                                                   for Polluting Environment

ET
JAMMU, Apr 13: Ever heard that a company or an organization has been incentivized for polluting the environment. But strangely, it became a reality in Jammu and Kashmir, courtesy Director Industries and Commerce Jammu.

As per Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India report, shockingly 15 Pesticides/insecticides industrial units after failing to get mandatory ISO 14000 certification (mandatory environmental clearance) were provided with incentives in the farm of subsidies by Director Industries and Commerce Jammu.

In February 2005 State Government adopted policy of establishment of Pesticides/insecticides industrial units in the State on the recommendation of the State level Apex Projects Clearance Committee. The policy provisions provide to make mandatory for the Pesticides/insecticides industrial units to obtain ISO 14000 certification (set of environmental management system standards developed by International organization for standardization) within a period of two years from the date of commencement of commercial production and in the event of failure to do so, the registration of such units was to be cancelled.

Further in December 2006 on the instructions of Chief Minister, in January 2007 the Director of Industries and Commerce placed the activity of manufacturing of pesticides, insecticides, weedicides on the restricted list in view of the hazardous nature of these units for the health of the people.

In the year 2003 this activity was banned by the State Government of neighboring State Himachal Pradesh. Audit scrutiny of records, however, showed that pesticides, insecticides and weedicides industrial units established in the State during the year from 2006-07 to 2010-11 has not obtained ISO 14000 certification even after completion of period ranging from two to six years from the date of commencement of production of these industrial units. The Director Industries and Commerce Jammu instead of taking action against such industrial units provided incentives in the form of various subsides to the extent of Rs 9.47 crores to 15 industrial units during the period 2008-12.

This indicates casual approach of the department towards health of the people. In September 2012 Director Industries and Commerce Department stated that it was not clear whether any formal order was issued.

In March 2008 J&K State pollution Control Board granted consent to operate in favour of M/s Cecil Pharmaceuticals Private Limited valid up to November 2008. Shocking Director Industries and Commerce Department Jammu and General Manager DIC Jammu did not demand renewed consent to operate from the industrial unit and instead paid subsidies of Rs 65.67 lakhs on account of capital investment, generator set and testing equipment in favour of the unit from December 2008 to March 2010. In February 2011 J&K State Pollution Control Board ordered closure of the unit in view of its unauthorized operation since December 2008. In August 2011 General Manager DIC Jammu stated that a notice had been issued to unit holder for refund as subsidy. The reply should be seen in light of non-fulfillment of required formalities by Industries and Commerce Department Jammu and General Manager DIC Jammu before sanctioning of subsidies.


                                         Industrial growth slips to 0.6% in February


New delhi: Showing slump in the economy, the industrial growth has slipped to 0.6% in February this year mainly on account of contraction in power generation and mining output and poor performance of manufacturing sector. Factory output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), had grown by 4.3% in February last year. For the April-February period of 2012-13 fiscal, the industrial production growth is at 0.9%, down from 3.5% in the same period of 2011-12, according to official data released here today. Meanwhile, the decline in industrial output for January has been remained almost at a same level of provisional estimates of 2.4% released last month.

The manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75% of the index, grew by meagre 2.2% in February, as against 4.1% in the same month of 2012. The growth in the output of the key sector remained low at one% in April-February this fiscal, as against 3.7% growth in the same period of 2011-12. There was a contraction of 3.2% in power output in February this year compared to a growth of 8% in the same month of 2012. During the April-February period, electricity generation has gone up by 4%, compared to a growth of 8.7% in the same period of the 2011-12 fiscal. The mining output in February this year too contracted by 8.1%, compared to a growth in production by 2.3% in the same month of 2012. For the April-February period, the production in the sector showed a decline of 2.5%, against contraction of 2.1% in the year-ago period. Overall, 13 of the 22 industry groups in manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during February. Capital goods output grew by 9.5% in February, as against a growth of 10.5% in same month of 2012. Capital goods output contracted in the April-February period by 7.6%, as against a dip of 1.8% in the same period of 2011-12. The consumer goods output saw meagre growth of 0.5% in February, compared to a decline in production by 0.4% in same month last year. In the April-February period of the last fiscal, the growth in the segment was 2.5% as compared to 4.7% in the same period of 2011-12. The dip in the output of consumer durables stood at 2.7% in February, as compared to a contraction of 6.2% in the same month of 2012. The growth in the output of these goods remained flat at 2.7% in April-February period of last fiscal. The consumer non-durables output grew by 2.9% in February, compared to 4.4% in the same month last year. This segment's growth was at 2.3% in the 11-month period of last fiscal, as against 6.4% in the previous fiscal. The intermediate goods production also saw a dip of 0.7% in February, compared to a growth of one% in the same month last year.

During the April-February period, this segment recorded a growth of 1.5%, compared to a contraction of 0.7% in the first 11 months of 2011-12. The basic goods output saw a contraction of 1.8% in February compared to a growth of 7.6% in the same month last year. During April-February period of 2012-13, the production of basic goods grew by 2.3% compared to a growth of 5.9% in the 11 month period of previous fiscal.


                                            Protest against Met Trade India held

ET Plus

Kathua, Apr 12 : JKPTDU held a protest against Met Trade India Ltd here today alleging the management of company adopting the oppressive and undemocratic policies to exploit the workers. The JKPTDU alleged that the Met Trade India Ltd Kathua has done unconstitutional and undemocratic act by expelling one Sunil Arora working a labourer for the last six years. Addressing the protestors JKPDTU District Chairman Manohar Singh and District president Randeep Singh along with the workers alleged violations of labour law by the management. They also said that the company has also violated the employment agreement i.e. 80% local and 20% out of state would be employed by the industrial unit.

JKPDTU urged the district administration to take result-oriented steps in favour of the workers who are being exploited by the Met Trade India Ltd Kathua. JKPDTU also warned the Met Trade India Ltd Kathua if it will not reinstate the expelled worker Sunil Arora on his job in the same industry, then JKPDTU will be forced to go on an agitational path
                                         Protest against Met Trade continues

Kathua, Apr 13: The protest against the Met Trade India Ltd Kathua continued on second consecutive day by the workers of the Met Trade industry in association with JKPDTU.
State president JKPDTU Suresh Sharma who also was present on the protest venue alleged the undemocratic and oppressive policies adopted by the Met Trade India Ltd at Kathua. Sharma said the JKPDTU will never tolerate the undemocratic and exploitative approach of the business entrepreneurs and reaffirmed that JKPDTU continue its support to the working class to get justice

 



                                Illegal Mining from Rivers Causing Threat to Ecology of State



Early Time
JAMMU, Apr 12: Illegal mining from rivers in the state is causing a threat to ecology of the state. The environmentalists are worried over the stoic silence maintained by the authorities over the issue. According to sources the unabated illegal mining especially from various rivers of the sate in general and Jammu region in particular ahs become a cause of concern for the environmentalists who have also taken up the issue with the Government urging it to take immediate steps in checking the same failing which the state will be face severe crisis in future.
Environmentalists said that increasing illegal mining of sand and Bajri from the river beds has led downing the bed level of the rivers which will lead to water crisis in many parts of the state in future.

The problem is galore in Kathua where especially illegal miners from Punjab are excavating sand and bajri from river bed of Ravi and other nullahs posing a grave threat to ecology. The failure of the concerning departments to take action against the illegal mining and arrest of the non state subjects mafia involved in the trade has emboldened this mafia group who has spread its tentacles. Sources said hundreds of tippers are being laded from Kathua rivers and nullahs by Punjab mafia daily in connivance with the local staff. Facing the stiff criticism the Flood Control Department has recently now launched a drive by registering cases against eh illegal mining in local police stations of Kathua and Lakhanpur, sources added. Sources said the problem is not over as the illegal mining still continues as the Department has till date failed to take punitive action against them.

Recently due to illegal mining abetments of a bridge over Balole nullah were left hanging posing a threat to collapse of the bridge. The bridge was later closed for traffic also. This problem is being faced every where in the state. The concerned agencies which are supposed to take action against the same are sleeping over the issue. The menace of illegal mining continues in rivers of Ravi, Ujh, Chilla Danga , Bilole nullhas, tawi and Chenab rivers in Jammu region. Besides it also continues in Lidder and Vishaw rivers in Anantnag, Rambi Aar in Pulwama, Sindh in Ganderbal and nullah Pohar and other rivers in Kupwara district of Kashmir Valley.


               Flour mills can help fighting power crisis
                                                           80,000 mills can produce 400 MWs


Early Times
Jammu, April 12: The state is reeling under power crisis. According to reports, the winter capital will experience power cut of 8 hours
daily. The situation will be no good in the summer capital. The state is not in a position to purchase power from outside at least for the
time being. What is the way out?

The experts believe that the state can produce as many as 400 MWs of power by putting the flour mills to proper use. If this happens, there
will be no fear of violating any existing treaty. The environment will also remain undisturbed as no mega infrastructure will be needed.
According to HA Gora, an expert on economic engineering of electricity, there are 80,000 water flourmills in the state of Jammu
Kashmir. Each mill has a capacity to generate 5,000 watts of electricity, and the aggregate output from 80,000 mills will be
400,000,000 watts, which is equal to 400,000 KWs or 400 MWs of electricity. This is equal to the capacity of Baglihar Hydel Power
Project.

This magnitude of electricity can be generated without violating the Indus Water Treaty, and does not require huge investments for creating
superstructures. It will generate an income at a tariff rate of Rs 1.6 per watt equal to Rs 640,000,000 per day, and Rs 192, 000, 00000 per
month and Rs 2304,000,000, 00 per year.

These water mills, Gora believes, can create new avenues of employment as well. “If every mill engages two persons, these mills can generate
employment for 160,000 people”, he said. The scheme, if put into actual practice, can do wonders with state’s
economy if the state government exhibits political will and gets New Delhi’s nod. Experts say such micro hydro-electric projects have been
contributing a lot to economic development of China.

Presently only 1500 MWs has been harnessed, which is just 7.5 per cent of the total potential. Out of the harnessed potential, only 12 per
cent is given to the state as royalty by NHPC, which is equal to 180 MW.



                                 Industries & Commerce Department loses Rs. 26.56 Cr.
                                              through VAT Re-imbursements
  

ET

Jammu, Apr 11 : It appears that collusion of J&K SICOP with SSI unit owners has robbed department of Industries and Commerce of a whooping sum of Rs. 26.56 crores in shape of VAT reimbursements. Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has made serious observations on the inadmissible VAT reimbursements of Rs. 26.56 crores to M/S Ritzy Polymers Samba, M/S Yamuna Alloys Limited Jammu and M/S Komal Paper Mills Limited.

As per the government order in June 2005, the small scale units were to be provided relief under the value added tax (VAT) regime on purchase of raw materials/inputs through J&K Small Scale Industries Development Corporation Limited (SICOP)/J&K Minerals Limited/any other Public sector undertakings of the state government. Such corporations were not to charge VAT from SSI units and instead claim financial support to the extent of VAT paid on such products by them from the Industries and Commerce Department.

The ceiling limit on investment in Plant and Machinery was pre-requisite for the purpose of registration of unit as SSI (Small Scale Industry) unit. Test-check of records showed that these three SSI units have undervalued their plant and machinery and restricted their value within the prescribed ceiling limits by misclassification in their accounts/balance sheets. As a result of misrepresentation of facts by M/S Ritzy Polymers Samba, M/S Yamuna Alloys Limited Jammu and M/S Komal Paper Mills Limited, the administrative department had to reimburse Rs. 26.56 crores including unpaid liability of 12.41 crores in the period between February 2011 to March 2012 on account of VAT purchase of raw material through SICOP during the period from April 2005 to March 2012. Amount of Rs. 23.84 crores to M/S Ritzy Polymers Samba, 2.38 to Yamuna Alloys Limited Jammu and 34 lakhs to M/S Komal Paper Mills Limited was reimbursed.

In August 2012 General Manager DIC Samba stated that the value of plant and machinery of M/s Ritzy Polymers was certified by charted accountant. The reply was not acceptable as the Project Manager was to physically verify the installation of plant and machinery and certify its value before formal registration of the industrial unit. In July 2012 General Manager DIC Kathua stated that appropriate action would be taken after detailed investigation in the case. Further the progress of the matter was awaited till date.

In an another case to provide undue benefit to M/S J&K Pulp and Paper Industries Jammu, General Manager DIC Jammu changed the status of the unit. CAG has pointed out that M/S J&K Pulp and Paper Industries registered as medium and large scale industrial unit during the year 1996-97 made an investment of 4.41 crores in plant and machinery up to March 2003. In March 2009 General Manager DIC Jammu changed the status of the unit to SSI unit in terms of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Act 2006. The Act however does not provide for conversion of already registered medium and large industry to SSI unit. The change of status of the SSI unit by incorrect application of provisions of MSME Act, 2006 by the Director Industries and Commerce Jammu resulted in inadmissible reimbursement of VAT of 21.22 lakhs on purchase of raw material through SICOP to the industrial unit during August 2011 to May 2012. In August 2012 General Manager, DIC Jammu stated that such conversion of industrial was accorded by Director, Industries and commerce Jammu.


                                     Reviving the Dying Kashmir Silk Industry

KO
SILK HAS been one of the cherished heritages of Jammu and Kashmir with sericulture activity in the valley finding mention in ancient Sanskrit scriptures including Rajtarangni. The queen of the fabrics, Kashmir Silk has ever cherished the passion of consumers for its lustre, purity and fineness.

During the medieval times silk production in Kashmir received a big boost with Sultan Zain-ul Abideen also known as ''Budshah'' (the Great King) giving special attention to this sector and introducing new improved techniques to make it a booming industry. However, during the Afghan rule in Kashmir, the fledging industry terribly suffered, but the Dogra rulers in early 19th century once more revived the sericulture sector to emerge it as the flagship of Kashmir's economy. By the first half of 20th century, Kashmir had a dynamic silk trade with its precious silk yarn exported not only to the entire British Empire but also to whole of Europe.

Sericulture is a labour intensive cottage industry combining both agriculture and industry. It is the only one cash crop in agriculture sector that gives returns within 30 days. “Kashmir had its indigenous races of silkworm and produced best quality cocoons in the world”, said an official associated with the sericulture sector.

Silk rearing, the main stays of the state's economy till over two decades ago, is unfortunately in shambles today. According to the available statistics the cocoon production in Kashmir dropped to 60,000 kgs in late 90s after having touched more than 15 lakh kilograms during 1980s.

The reasons for Kashmir silk industry falling on bad days are varied. It is widely contended that de-monopolization of the industry and bifurcation of Kashmir Filatures from the Sericulture Department led to the decline in the use of cocoons locally. The outside traders took advantage of the situation due to the non-increase of cocoon prices. These traders lured cocoon rearers with quite high prices to sell their produce to them leaving very little raw material for the Kashmir filatures. “Per kilogram cost of cocoon was not increased for almost two decades. A kilogram of A-Grade cocoon was purchased from the farmers for Rs 180 till 2009. Now the rates are Rs 210 per kg, far below what can attract a grower towards the sector. In open market the rates even touch Rs 600 per kg,” sources said.

Kashmir Filatures, which had its origin in 1897 with Italian reeling basins, was transferred to JK Industries Ltd in 1963. It had an installed capacity of 584 reeling basins, employing over 2000 workers. These were the days of “dynamic silk trade” in Kashmir. Alas, the spinning wheels at Kashmir Filatures stand virtually silenced. The de-monopolization of Kashmir Filatures starved it of the raw material (cocoons), as a result, the Filatures shrank from hundreds of reeling basins to mere 31 in 2008-09. Consequently, the raw silk production fell alarmingly and even in the recent years the trend has not been enthusing with production of 8.2 metric tonnes (MT) in 2004-05 going upto 21.2 MT in 2007-08 but again falling to 17.1 MT in 2008-09. ``Jammu and Kashmir is the only state which produces the best quality Bivoltine silk. But the irony is that less than 30 percent of cocoons produced indigenously are used for silk production locally and the remaining produce is picked up by the outside traders,`` officials said. Private rearers of the state consume 25 percent of locally produced cocoons and this has kept the silk industry going in the state.

The local carpet weaving units prefer low quality Chinese silk yarn to indigenous silk being cost effective. This has also hit the indigenous silk industry.

Moreover, mulberry cultivation, which is the source of mulberry leaves on which the silk worms thrive, also suffered and got confined to 173 departmental mulberry nurseries spread over a meagre area of 963 acres. All these factors and low market prices of cocoons weaned away the farmers from this sector. According to reports, the number of cocoon rearers has declined from 60,000 in 1947 to 2,500 in 2011. These have adversely affected the forward and backward linkages in the industry.

Nevertheless, ''not all is lost'' says Agriculture and Sericulture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir, who, sounding optimistic, adds that the sun may again shine on the silk industry of Kashmir. Basing his optimism on an upward trend for past few years He said that Kashmir produced 738 metric ton (MT) cocoons in 2008-09, 810 MT in 2009-10 and in the last fiscal 970 MT worth eleven crore rupees``.

Sericulture Minister Mir is of the view that the sector holds great promise for employment generation and as such, the government has embarked on a number of measures for reviving the sector. These include large scale propagation of mulberry trees. In this connection the government has embarked on an innovating scheme of allotting idle pieces of land to various groups comprising unemployed youth in villages for planting mulberry trees.

The Sericulture Department has already started this scheme on the 24 km road to Tangmarg, the base camp of the tourist resort Gulmarg. Riaz Ahmad, a science graduate, who is one of the 30- member group planting mulberry saplings, said, “I am happy to be a part of this scheme. Though we will be earning less in the beginning, it is better than sitting idle at home and becoming a burden on old parents."

The Department is also distributing seeds and mulberry plants free of cost to farmers and supplements them with seven rupees per plant. “We also provide financial support of Rs 50,000 to each family associated with the sector for developing infrastructure for cocoon production besides insurance cover to the family,” the Minister said. He said that the farmers are being assisted with the latest drying techniques which help in maintaining the quality of the product.

Additional director, Sericulture Department, Dr Malik Farooq told a local daily, “We have many strategies in our list which will revive the silk industry.” The Minister described the production as well as the cost of the cocoon having gone up this year as “a healthy trend.” It is hoped that this healthy trend will once again bloom the state`s silk industry to secure its past glory.

 


                      Govt. Bears Rs. 8340 Cr. Burden on Concessions to Industry
                      Rs. 25 Cr. Rent Amount Misutilised on Salaries of SIDCO, SICOP Officials

DE
JAMMU, Apr 10: While the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has indicted the State Industries and Commerce Department of spending Rs 25 crore collected as rent from the Industrial units on the salaries of the SIDCO and SICOP workers, the Government has faced a burden of Rs 8340 crore for providing concessions to the Industry in the State.

The CAG has also pointed out several irregularities, mis-utilisation of funds and un-planned expenditure of public money worth crores in the department. It also charged the department with not having devised a mechanism so far to check the quality of minerals extracted and lifted by the lessees from the mine sites. The report has taken serious note of the unfruitful/ unproductive expenditure worth Rs 56.65 crore by the Industries department.

In the recently released report, it has been pointed out that non-observance of guide-lines governing packages of incentives for the industrial entrepreneurs resulted in inadmissible and irregular payment of subsidies to the extent of Rs 12.80 crore, inadmissible VAT reimbursement of Rs 26.77 crore and irregular exemption from payment of toll tax of Rs 5.58 crore. It indicated that an amount of Rs 24.74 crore realized as revenue on account of rent premium of the industrial plots/ land was ‘mis-utilised’ towards the payment of salaries and wages of the employees of SIDCO and SICOP.

A comprehensive audit of the department by CAG established that performance of the new industrial units set up under incentives packages announced by the Central Government in 2002 and the State Government in 2004 was not commensurate with the burden of fiscal concessions and subsidies borne by the Central/ State exchequer which ranged between Rs 1289.89 crore to Rs 2475.88 crore during the years 2007-08 to 2011-12.

The total employment generated by all the industrial units in the State was reported to be 1.03 lakh as of 2007-08, which had risen to 1.33 lakh at the close of 2011-12 and the 5312 industrial units, mostly from outside, registered during 2007-08 to 2011-12 claimed to have provided employment to 38,380 persons. The per capita fiscal burden for each worker claimed to have been employed by all the industrial units (beneficiary or non-beneficiary units) was between Rs 1.09 lakh and Rs 2.40 lakh per annum during the same period, clearly indicating near total Government funding of the claimed payroll costs.

It was established by CAG that the contribution of the beneficiary units under special incentives/ subsidy/ VAT concessions etc, towards State’s GSDP (Gross State Domestic Produce) was clearly less than the fiscal burden of the benefits provided to them. The total contribution towards GSDP during 2007-08 to 2011-12 by these registered manufacturing units was Rs 7149 crore while total fiscal burden of tax concessions and subsidies on the Central and State exchequer provided to the beneficiary units was to the tune of Rs 8340 crore. While State Government had to bear the burden of Rs 3118.74 crore, the Central Government nearly Rs 5221 crore.

The audit by CAG team found that due to unplanned execution and consequent non-completion/non-commissioning of five industrial estates by the department, an expenditure of Rs 56.65 crore remained unfruitful and unproductive. Further, due to non-acquisition of land for Industrial Growth Centre Samba, Rs 3661 crore advanced to the Collector remained locked up. It has been found that department has not taken any action to retrieve the land from 1329 entrepreneurs ( 35%) who had not established their industrial units after the allotment of plots of land in their favour.

The audit inspection pointed out that the geographical concentration of beneficiary units around Jammu in close proximity to the rail-heads adjoining neighbouring states of Himachal and Punjab also indicated that the implementation of State Industrial Policy 2004 has not resulted in geographically well-dispersed industrial growth within the State. It established that a total 1779 (47%) industrial units spanning total land area of 12,557 kanals were located in and around Jammu. Besides employment generation, the State Industrial policy has also failed to address the issue of balanced regional development within the State.

The team further pointed out that an amount of Rs 15 crore released for the project -National Institute of Fashion Technology remained un-utilised since 2009. It has indicated the utilisation of Central funds ranging between 44 to 93 per cent and the administrative expenditure in Handicrafts and Handloom sector as high, ranging between 83 and 93 per cent to the total expenditure. It pointed out that performance of schemes in the Handicrafts and Handloom sector was poor. The cluster projects and group approach projects under Integrated Handloom Development Scheme were not executed upto the desired level. While there was over all shortfall of nearly 29 % of manpower in the department, but at the same time shortage of technical staff like project managers and functional managers was to the tune of over 90 % in the department. The CAG survey pointed out that monitoring of training centres and evaluation of programmes had never been conducted by the Department of Industry and Commerce.



                                              Industrial enterprises - Editorial

DE-11th April,2013

There are no two opinions about the fact that real progress of the State of Jammu and Kashmir has to be measured in terms of its industrial development. Ability of the Government and business community to explore and exploit industrial potential of the State has to grow as efforts are directed to boost the economy. Local entrepreneurship has to be provided all incentives to widen the scope of industrial development and bring more people and places within its ambit. In his recent interaction with the members of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Chief Minister said that trade and tourism were the two significant pillars of economy and these complemented each other in their growth.

Tourism and industry are two main pillars of the State economy and these are complementary. As far as tourism is concerned, we have often in these columns said that the potential of tourism in the State still remains inadequately exploited. Firstly, new sites of tourism need to be developed and there is no dearth of them in all the three regions. Exploring new sites also means developing these in a manner that they become real tourist attraction. It is the infrastructure part of tourism that needs to be taken care of. We should remember that tourism as an industry has extensively developed in some of the western countries like Switzerland and Russia. Modern tourism is a comprehensive affair and we in the State need to invest substantially to bring it to that level. Only training of personnel in upgraded institutions is not enough. More important is that tourism culture has to be developed among the people concerned with the industry. The Chief Minister told the delegation that he was trying to impress upon the American administration to lift the advisory on American tourists to J&K State. It will be recalled that owing to militancy in the State security of foreign visitors had run into jeopardy and the American Government issued the advisory to its nationals to avoid visits to Jammu and Kashmir. But with much improvement in the ground situation, there seems little justification for the American administration to continue with the advisory.

Tourist season is about to set in and the State is preparing to receive a large number of tourist this year. Peace and tranquility are of much importance to the increase in the number of tourists. According to reports coming in from various sources, there is comparative peace in Kashmir and this should go a long way in bringing a booming tourist season.

Encouraging local entrepreneurship is of pivotal importance to full growth of industries. Investment by mega corporate in various industries is all right if it happens since efforts are on. But encouraging local entrepreneurship is essential to help small and medium size industries grow. The Government might need to review the situation from time to time to devise more lucrative incentives for attracting local talent and effort. At the same time it is also important that other industries like handicrafts which have already made a name in the world market are given a boost. It is encouraging to know that the Government is willing to showcase J&K industrial potential in the world market and for that purpose it might have some programmes. We believe that this is the right approach to bringing the State on the industrial map of the country. It is only the beginning and there is vast scope of its development.

                                               Industrial packages fail to yield results
                                           Centre, state govt bear fiscal burden of `8,340 cr

Jammu, April 8
Although the industrial promotion policies have put a whopping fiscal burden of Rs 8,340 crore on the state and Central governments from 2007 to 2012, the policies have failed to achieve the desired results and the main objectives of such incentives have been defeated.The industrial packages were announced in the state to generate employment but their results are discouraging.The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its latest report pinpointed loopholes in the functioning of the Industries and Commerce Department, which is responsible for properly utilising such incentives.

“Low industrial output, low employment generation, low end and low value addition manufacturing have defeated the objectives of the Central and state governments’ industrial promotion policies,” the report observed. It also pointed out the underutilisation of Central assistance, unplanned execution of industrial estates/growth centres, leading to unproductive investments, inadmissible and irregular payment of subsidies.

The audit assessment during the five-year period from 2007 to 2012 shows that the Central and state governments bore a fiscal burden of Rs 8,340.11 crore (Central government Rs 5,221.37 crore, state government Rs 3,118.74 crore) to provide incentives to the industrial units whose number as on March 2012 was 26,674 with total workforce of 1,33,173 workers.

“The total employment generated from the industrial units in the state was 1.03 lakh as on 2007. It rose to to 1.33 lakh at the close of the financial year 2011-2012 while the financial incentives provided to the industrial units from 2007-08 to 2011-12 ranged between Rs 1,289.89 crore and Rs 2,475.88 crore.

“Thus, the per capita fiscal burden for each worker employed by the industrial units (including those industrial units not covered by the state industrial policy 2004) was between Rs 1.09 lakh and Rs 2.40 lakh per annum during the same period”, the report stated.

The audit, however, noticed that the data of employment generation was recorded on the basis of certificates provided by the unit holders at the time of their registration and it was observed at the District Industry Centres (DICs) that the employment generation by the industrial units was neither monitored nor verified by the DIC general managers after commencement of production by the industrial units.

The CAG report observed that the sole yardstick to assess the impact of the industrial policy being pursued by the Central and state governments involving fiscal concession to industrial units was job creation.

Employment generation was the basic objective of industrial packages announced in the state. The average employment generated in each unit in the Kashmir province ranged between four and five and in Jammu province between 11 and 16.

CAG findings

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its latest report pinpointed loopholes in the functioning of the Industries and Commerce Department, which is responsible for properly utilisation of incentives.

Low industrial output, low employment generation, low end and low value addition manufacturing have defeated the objectives of the Central and state governments’ industrial promotion policies

The underutilisation of Central assistance and unplanned execution of industrial estates/growth centres, have led to unproductive investments


                                         Who manufactured spurious tablets?
                                    Affy Parenterals Says Its Brand Name ‘Faked’
                                                    DEADLY DRUG RACKET


Srinagar, Apr 8: Yet another shocking revelation has come to fore vis-à-vis 2 lakh tablets of spurious antibiotic supplied to Valley hospitals. A Jammu-based distributor had to supply the antibiotic manufactured by M/s Medley Pharmaceutical but, instead, it supplied spurious tablets purportedly manufactured by Himachal-based Affy Parenterals. However, Affy has said it didn’t manufacture the supply and its brand name has been faked.

A copy of the rate contract lying with Greater Kashmir states that government has approved Tab Amoxicillin+Clavulinic Acid---625 mg manufactured by the M/s Medley Pharmaceutical Ltd for the Valley hospitals through a Jammu-based distributor M/s Life Line Pharmaco Surgical. The antibiotic has been supplied under the brand name Maximizin-625 and showing its manufacturer as Affy Parenterals. However, Affy has distanced itself from the controversy stating it didn’t manufacture the supply and its brand name has been misused.

The scandal about spurious antibiotic being supplied to the Valley hospitals came to fore after State Drug and Food Control Department reported that antibiotic Maximizin-625 (Amoxicillin Trihydrate and Potassium Clavunate) was “not of standard quality.” “It had tested negative in the analysis as it contained zero milligrams of Amoxicillin instead of 500 milligrams claimed by the company.
Reacting to the reports, Geeta Jain, General Manager Marketing, Affy Parenterals, a Himachal based pharmaceutical company in an e-mailed statement refuted the reports of supplying drugs to the J&K government. “We have never signed any contract or supplied any pharmaceutical product to any government tenders in Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.

She said that Maximizin 625 is their brand, however, “Seized drug has totally different packing and Affy Parenterals has got nothing to do with it.” “We manufacture the brand Maximizin 625 with B.no. 1583 and manufacturing date is August 2012 and expiry date is January 2014 in AS 6X1X10 ALU packing whereas the seized drug has the packing of AS 1X5X10 blister which is totally a different packing,” she said.
Jain said that Maximizin 625 tablet (Amoxicillin and Potassium Clavulanate tablets IP) has been given standard certificate by Quality Control Department. Asked why they have not lodged a formal complaint against the accused Life Line Pharmaco Surgical in any police station, Jain said, “Our legal team is looking on many fronts. They will do their job.” The document which is lying with Greater Kashmir states that approved drug is Tab Amoxillin+Clavulinic Acid, 625 mg to be supplied by Life Line Pharmaco Surgical.

When contacted, Chairperson of the purchasing committee Madhu Kullar said, “We have not done anything wrong. We don’t know about Affy Parenterals. We had approved drugs from Medley Pharmaceutical. The officials in Srinagar should have checked while receiving the drugs.” Pertinently, a few days ago Minister of State for Health, Shabir Ahmed Khan, ordered the constitution of a three-member Committee to investigate the issue of substandard antibiotic Maximizin-625 supplied to the Valley hospitals. After the issue was highlighted by the media, Controller Drug Stores Kashmir was placed under suspension and attached with the Directorate of Health Services Jammu till pending inquiry.

Doctors Association Kashmir accused former Health Minister, Sham Lal Sharma, of being hand in glove with the accused firm. DAK president Nisar-ul-Hassan said, “It is genocide of Kashmiris. Sham Lal Sharma should take responsibility and step down from his portfolio. The owner of the Life Line Pharmaco surgical is a close relative of Sharma. The wrongdoings have happened in his tenure. If FIR is not registered against Sharma, doctors in Kashmir will go on indefinite strike. Every drug in the hospitals should be sent for testing,” he demanded.

Medical Fair Price Shops Association Kashmir General Secretary, Muhammad Aslam, demanded action and urged on the government to expose the manufacturers of spurious drugs. “Government should come clear on the issue. All those involved in the scandal should be given exemplary punishment. If government fails to do so we will come on roads with doctors,” he said.
Spokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir Chemists and Distributors Association (JKCDA), Shafaat Rasool urged the government to punish those involved in the crime


                                            Kashmir carpet industry loses market, trade at its lowest ebb


ET
srinagar, Apr 6: The World renowned Kashmiri carpet industry is losing fast the market and if the trend continues the carpet industry will perish from the valley like other traditional crafts. The Kashmiri carpet which was famous in the World for its texture is dying because of the lack of interest on part of both the carpet weavers and the government in promoting this art which was once providing employment to thousands of people across the valley. Carpet weavers in the Valley are changing their profession. The trade that once fetched Kashmir money and fame is now in the hands of fewer craftsmen and the situation could get worse in the coming years.

"The craft is dying owing to the lack of skilled carpet weavers these days," said Imtiyaz Roshangar, a carpet weaver from old city. "The new generation has no interest in this craft. There was a time when we used to export our carpets to the whole World and it made us famous in the World but I see a bleak future for this craft now," Roshangar added. Pertinently, most of the demand for carpets in the country is now met by the carpet-producing units in Amritsar, Rajasthan, Agra, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh leaving Kashmiri Carpets estranged.

"There is hardly any innovation in Kashmir carpet. We follow the same designs and patterns that we had decades ago. If we want to gain market we need to innovate," Haji Nazir Ahmed Ludoo, a noted carpet weaver while Said said. He said that another reason for the diminishing market is the degradation of quality. "We should have tried to preserve this art. But while using substandard material in the carpets these days we have dented our image and reputation. This way we can't stay in competition," cautions Ludoo. Low wages to the craftsman seems another major factor for the decline in the business, weavers working on a low fare has lead to a distinguished approach for the new generation in this business.

"Why should our young generation be involved in this when it doesn't even fetch us livelihood despite working for long hours. At least, I will not allow my children to become weavers. I have suffered all my life and I don't want them to suffer like me," Ludoo said. The economic meltdown in Europe and the cheap carpets from China in the international market have also hit the exports badly in valley. "The major export markets for the carpets are USA, Germany, UK, Australia and Canada but the degradation in the quality and the great economic recession in Europe has sweep away Kashmir's carpet industry," Sarmad Naqash, an exporter said. "On the other hand China has started machine made Carpets which are much cheaper than our carpets and has gradually over taken the market in Europe," Naqash added.

Pertinently, the Centre with the collaboration of Government of Jammu and Kashmir established Indian Institute of Carpet Technology (IICT) in Srinagar to blend the traditional art of carpet designing with modern digital technology. The main activities of IICT revolves around Human Resource and Development (HRD), Research & Development (R&D), Design Creation and Development (DCD), (ISD) Integrated Skill Development and other Technical services to the industry. Asif Gowhar Khan, Coordinator of Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS) IICT said," the Institute has introduced two unique Short and Long term courses under (ISDS). Under the programme, over four thousand persons shall be trained, over a period of five years, with the objective to develop a trained human resource for the carpet Industry in Kashmir division. "Under the scheme, 4200 candidates from eight districts of Kashmir division viz Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Pulwama and Srinagar, shall be trained under four months Certificate Course in Carpet Manufacturing (CCCM) and 100 candidates shall be trained under One year Diploma in Carpet Technology & Entrepreneurship Development (DCTED). The scheme is in progress since January 2012," he added. Interestingly, few artisans have also started making use of computers for the preparation of designs. The IICT has developed software called "Naqash" for the development of designs easily and speedily and to add a modern touch to the traditional art of carpet designing. "All these steps are being taken for the protection of the industry. It is necessary that effective measures be taken to save this wonderful art and to help the industry reach the position where it should be," Khan added.



                                     Registrar to investigate variations in purchase statement: CIC
                                              Alleged bunglings in SICOP, EMRE (PDD)

ET
Jammu, Mar 25: The Registrar of Jammu and Kashmir State Information Commission will investigate the variations in the purchase statements shown by PIO SICOP and PIO EMRE(PDD) and after inquiry will report to the commission for further necessary actions. The direction was passed by Chief Information Commissioner, J&K, following complaints by High Court Lawyer and RTI activist Kovid Khosla, who submitted that the information given by the respective PIOs of SICOP and EMRE(PDD) does not match.

"It is submitted that the information given by the PIO, SICOP does not tally with the information he gathered from the PIO EMRE(PDD) division 1, Parade Jammu", Khosla said. Following the allegations the Chief Information Commissioner sought explanation as to why there was substantial variation in the statement of purchases shown by PIO SICOP and PIO EMRE (PDD).

The CIC further said that the Registrar of the commission is directed to investigate this wide variation. He is authorized to conduct an enquiry and report to the commission results of the enquiry. For doing such enquiry, he may take all necessary steps as are required under section 15(13) of the Act. Pertinently, Khosla filed RTI to SICOP seeking information of detailed items sold by SICOP, Jammu in the year 2010,2011 and 2012 to Executive Engineer, EM&RE division-1,Parade, demand orders with VAT and amount of purchases made by Ex Engineer (EM&RE Div-1).

Earlier also, a notice to Public Information Officer (PIO) SICOP seeking explanation from him was issued as to why penalty proceedings under section 17 of state RTI should not be initiated against him for inordinate delay and his failure to provide complete information to the information seeker by the CIC. The CIC also reprimanded FAA for befooling commission by giving fake reply.

When the information seeker did not get the information from SICOP after lapse of 30 days, he preferred 1st appeal before Managing Director-cum-FAA SICOP, but, he too failed to provide information to information seeker after lapse of 45 days. The information seeker then filed complaint to CIC, following which the competent authority issued summons to both the officials to clear their position.

The representative of the FAA Ghulam Hassan Mir, DM (HQ) submitted before commission that the FAA gave directions to the PIO to furnish information to the information seeker with in a period of 3 days. However, on going through the records of FAA, the CIC did not find any direction given to PIO by FAA. The CIC advised FAA to follow the provision of law as contained in the section 16 of State RTI Act, adding failure to discharge the statutory duties cast on any public functionary will be seriously reviewed.

After hectic efforts, when finally information seeker got information he was fumed as the information was incomplete and ambiguous. The aggrieved again filed complaint to the CIC and acting on the complaint, CIC took PIO on cudgel hand and directed PIO Jaswinder Singh to explain his position, further directing him to provide complete information within 15 days from the date of receipt of the order.

                                                         Brick kilns violating norms

et plus
Kathua, Mar 25: The brick kiln operating in district Kathua are violating the norms blatantly, impacting the agriculture land ecology of Kathua. As per set norms, no brick kiln can be established in irrigated land and cannot dug up the land more than 3 feet, but flouting all norms these brick kiln operations were continue with their illegal activities under the nose of authorities.

“As per norms the brick kiln can only lift the soil from barren land for the preparation of bricks, which is being abandoned up to 3 feet ditch and it also mandatory to make a level the land after lifting the soil” sources said. The Brick kilns in district Kathua which had been closed since long, but currently, all are functioning actively so their status of permissions must be disclosed and put into public domain.


                                          Rs. 160 cr. Magnesite Plant at Panthal cleared: Kitchloo,
                                              Rs. 97 cr. mega Food, Textile Parks on anvil
DE
JAMMU, Mar 22: Saying that creation of employment opportunities for un-employed youth of the State is top priority of the Coalition Government, the Minister of State for Industries and Commerce, Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo today said it has been made mandatory to employ the local youth in fixed proportion, adding that necessary modifications have already been made in the State industrial policy for this purpose.

Replying to the discussion on grants for the departments and PSUs under his charge, in the Legislative Assembly today, Mr. Kitchloo said that the Industrial sector has a key role in the socio-economic development of the State, adding that at present about 20,000 souls get their livelihood from industries directly or indirectly. He said the sector has still a vast potential for employment generation for which there was a need to create awareness among the youth about various special incentives and packages available under both Central and State industrial policies in vogue. Now, it has been decided to launch a vigorous awareness campaign at block, tehsil and district levels for the purpose, he added.

Mr. Kitchloo said the single window system has been made more vibrant and hassle free as a result of which 722 micro and small scale units have been cleared besides allotment of about 1638.53 kanals for setting up industrial units. Responding to the points raised by the members, the Minister said that revival of sick industries has also been taken up due to which 457 identified sick units in the State have been revived with assistance of about Rs. 3.70 crore so far.

Mr. Kitchloo said that 19 new industrial estates are being developed in the State including 9 in Jammu and 10 in Kashmir division raising the total number of industrial estates in the State to 67. He said 2061 industrial units have been registered in the State since 2000-09 with an investment of Rs. 880 crore. He said, besides setting up new Industrial Estates, the existing estates are also being upgraded in a phased manner. He said price preference to SSI sector, as marketing support, will be implemented in letter and spirit adding that violators of these guidelines will be dealt with sternly.

He said a novel handicrafts promotion initiative has been launched under Artisan Credit Card Scheme (ACC) recently to provide credit facility upto Rs. one lakh to the artisans on nominal interest rate adding that 64000 souls have been brought under the ambit of Health Insurance coverage. He said 10 handicrafts clusters of different trades for artisans of the Shahr-e-Khaas, at a cost of Rs. 64 crore, have been set-up besides distributing 500 modernized looms to artisans free of costs. As many as 8000 such looms will be provided to the artisans in a phased manner, Mr. Kitchloo added.

He said this year the sale of handicraft products is expected to yield Rs. 1700 crore, adding that Rs. 5.87 crore massive skill upgradation project for carpet industry has been approved by Union Ministry of Textiles where 43000 persons will be trained in carpet manufacturing. He said two Handloom Clusters Development Projects at Saidpora costing Rs. 59.60 lakh and other at Parigam, Pulwama with the cost of Rs. 60 lakh have been sanctioned this year to give boost to handloom activities in a big way. In addition, 5 Special Handloom Projects at a cumulative cost of Rs. 40 crore for South Kashmir, Central Kashmir, Leh and Kishtwar have been sent to Union Ministry of Textiles for approval.

Mr. Kitchloo said that a mega food park costing Rs. 78 crore over an area of 400 kanals and a Mega Textile park at Grovidsar, Kathua on 200 kanals at a cost of Rs. 18.84 crore are also being developmed to promote major industries in the State. While highlighting achievements of various PSUs, Mr. Kitchloo said that the J&K Cements, which is one of the profit making organizations in public sector, has earned a profit of Rs. 3.40 crore this year adding that one more 600 ton per day capacity cement plant at Khrew, Pulwama is also coming up.

He said J&K Small Scale Industries Development Corporation (SICOP) has provided marketing support to 855 SSI units amounting to Rs. 174 crore, and Rs. 632 crore as raw material support. He said JKI is being modernized, for which Rs. 2.50 crore are being spent for revival of Government Silk Factory, Rajbagh and Rs. 2.50 crore for Government Woolen Mills Bemina. Mr. Kitchloo informed the House that an ambition Rs.160 crore Magnesite Plant at Panthal, Reasi which was struck for last 23 years has now been cleared to exploit huge reserves of dead burnt megnesite in the area.

As many as 15 members took part in discussion on demand of grants including Nasir Aslam Wani, Indu Pawar, T. Namgyal, Er. Abdul Rashid, Ajaz Ahmed Jan, Ashok Kumar, Krishan Chander Bhagat, Dr. Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, Ashwani Kumar, Balwant Singh Mankotia, Haji Mohammad Ashraf Ganai, Baldev Sharma, Javed Ahmed Dar, Yashpal Kundal and Lal Chand.


                                                                      Reviving sick industrial units
Dailyexcelsior-Editorial

Promoting Small Scale Industries is one of the ways of overcoming the problem of unemployment. It strengthens economy and does not incur huge investments. But many of them have become sick for various reasons. Entrepreneurs become helpless in most cases to revive their enterprises. Therefore State Level Rehabilitation Committee has been constituted to examine the status of the sick units, consider their viability if revived and also propose the quantum of financial support needed to revive them. Obviously, in doing so, the Committee should have laid down some criterion as the deciding factor whether the sick unit will become viable if given support, and how much financial support would it need for revival etc. We understand that guidelines must be there and the Committee must be going according to the same.

However, we are amused to learn that among the total 457 sick units–368 in Kashmir valley and 89 in Jammu province, 67 units were approved by the State Level Rehabilitation Committee during the past two years for revival by providing soft loan. Of these 67 units, 59 are in Kashmir valley and 8 in Jammu province. The general impression is that the environs for development of small scale industries in Jammu region are more conducive, and actually their number is fairly large. Although eruption of militancy and its sway over the region in Jammu has not been that widespread as in the valley, and that cannot be the reason for the sickness of industrial units in Jammu, yet only 33.55 per cent units became sick owing to law and order problem. Reasons other than this for the sickness of these unties apply equally to both the regions. As such, there should not have been a vast difference in numbers of sick units identified for financial support. This gives the cause for a grouse and Jammu small scale industrial units’ entrepreneurs have not taken the decision of the SLRC in good taste. The share of the valley-based industrial units for financial support is nearly 90 per cent and Jammu region gets mere 10 per cent.

Another interesting data obtained from the analysis is that while the SLRC has brought seven districts of the valley, besides Srinagar district, under is purview, in the case of Jammu region only Jammu district has been taken into account. Only eight sick units of Jammu district have been selected for revival while as none of the sick units of other districts was selected by the SLRC. There are 18 sick units in Udhampur, seven in Samba, six in Poonch, five in Doda and two each in Kathua and Rajouri districts. This seems utterly unfair on the part of SLRC, particularly when we know that some of the districts in Jammu region have been recognized as backward. Priority should have been given to the backward districts especially when we know that the youth of these districts have little chances of employment and growth.

In an overall evaluation, we strongly endorse the efforts of the Government to encourage spreading out a wide network of small scale industries in the State. Fortunately, the Central Government is also favourably disposed towards the policy of expansion of these units. We would even recommend that in second installments many more sick unites should be brought under the scheme of financial support for revival and the process should continue. The target of Rs 5440 crore for the SSI with employment potential for 38,870 persons is enviable one. The roadmap is already there. 55 large and medium units with an investment of Rs 2400 crore providing employment to 18000 persons have been set up till date while as 23 units with an investment of Rs 1021 crore and employment potential for about 3200 persons are under implementation. This augurs well for the economic health of the State. But, once again, we would impress upon the State Level Rehabilitation Committee that it will have to stick to just and equitable distribution of its support to all the three regions of the State. We do recognize various factors that will determine the identification of the sick units. But this identification has to be broad -based and pragmatically planned. Why should Ladakh be excluded from the jurisdiction of the SLRC.




DE                                      59 sick units of Valley, only 8 of Jammu selected for revival,
                                           99 large, medium industrial projects yet to be implemented


JAMMU, Mar 21: In what could be termed as glaring example of ‘discrimination’, the State Level Rehabilitation Committee (SLRC) has approved 59 sick units of Kashmir valley and only 8 of Jammu province for revival by providing soft loan during the last two years. According to the official document available with EXCELSIOR, although the number of Small Scale Industrial units in the State has gone up there are cases of sickness of units with some of them having become non-functional and others simply untraceable due to a number of reasons.

About 32.71 percent of units become sick due to financial crunch, 30.55 per cent due to law and order and other problems, 19.40 per cent due to marketing problems, 9.24 per cent due to raw material unavailability and 8.10 per cent due to migration. For rehabilitation of potentially viable sick units, the State Government is providing soft loan to the extent of 30 per cent of total requirement under Rehabilitation Policy.

Among the total 457 sick units—-368 in Kashmir valley and 89 in Jammu province, 67 units were approved by the State Level Rehabilitation Committee during the past two years for revival by providing soft loan. Of these 67 units, 59 are in Kashmir valley and 8 in Jammu province. A total of 38 sick industrial units have been selected by SLRC for soft loan in Srinagar district, four each in Budgam, Pulwama, Shopian and Baramulla districts while as three each in Ganderbal, Anantnag and Kupwara. As far as Jammu province is concerned, eight sick units of Jammu district have been selected for revival while as none of the sick units of other districts was selected by the SLRC. There are 18 sick units in Udhampur, seven in Samba, six in Poonch, five in Doda and two each in Kathua and Rajouri districts.

For revival of 59 approved sick industrial units of Kashmir valley, an amount of Rs 801.31 lakh has been approved while as for eight units of Jammu province SLRC has approved an amount of Rs 69.42 lakh. Against 59 approved units of Valley, soft loan has been disbursed to 30 units while as against eight approved units loan of Rs 5.50 lakh has been provided to two units till date.

Though the number of registered SSI units in the State has gone up from 43689 in 2001-02 to 54716 in 2011-12, the number of functional units has come down considerably during the period. As per 3rd All India Census, there were 15253 functional Small Scale Industrial units in the State but by November 2012 the same came down to 659 units. With the decline in number of functional SSI units in the State during this period, the employment also came down from 50643 persons in 2001 to 4707 in 2012 (up to November).

According to the document, after the announcement of Central Package during 2002 and State Industrial Policy 2004 around 177 large and medium industrial units were cleared in the Apex Project Clearance Committee with an investment of Rs 5440 crore and target of employment to 38,870 persons. However, 55 large and medium units with an investment of Rs 2400 crore providing employment to 18000 persons have been set up till date while as 23 units with an investment of Rs 1021 crore and employment potential for about 3200 persons are under implementation. “The remaining projects are yet to be taken up for implementation on ground for various reasons”, the document said.


                        Rs. 296 crores package for J&K industry by March end,
                              Centre likely to extend incentives for 5 more years

Dailyexcelsior

Jammu, Mar 17: Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry is likely to give its consent for extension of package worth nearly Rs 296 crores to the industrial units of the State by the end of this month. Reliable sources told EXCELSIOR that the decision for extension of the industrial incentives became possible after the personal intervention of the office of Chief Minister and persistent follow-up by top brass of the Industries Department. “There had been several round of talks between the officials of the Union Commerce Ministry and Industries Department of the State and the former has agreed in principle for extension of the industrial package”, sources said adding, “interestingly, the package of industrial incentives is being extended only to the entrepreneurs of the border State and is unlikely to be extended to other States, who were enjoying similar incentives earlier”.

Sources asserted that the Union Government had given consent for Rs 296 crore package and the incentives are likely to be extended for another five years. Sources said astonishingly, during the last 10 years, the State had received around Rs 110 crore as part of incentives for the industrialists of the State. “It was only during the last financial year (2011-12) that he State had received around Rs 60 crores and therefore the officials of the Industries Department made all projections before the Union Commerce Ministry based on this data”. “Recently, they had sought details about the thrust industries from the Industries and Commerce Department of the State Government so that the information could be incorporated in the Cabinet memorandum to be submitted to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in this regard”, sources added.

The State Industries Department completed the entire exercise within the stipulated time and has submitted all the necessary details. “The Department has elaborated on all the areas, which are of immense importance to the industrialist of the State. While in the earlier proposals, details had been given about 16 times, five new items have been submitted to the fresh proposal. “, sources said. Source further added, “among other points, the State Government has insisted on covering others like those associated with the service industries including Information Technology (IT); Handicraft industry and few others”.

“In most of the other areas pertaining to the industrial incentives, there was complete unanimity among the officials of Union Ministry and their counterparts here. The fresh industrial package would be given effect from June 14, 2012 when the earlier package of incentives sanctioned for 10 years in 2002 had expired, sources said while disclosing that the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has rejected the demand of Jammu and Kashmir Government to extend the package for another 10 years and bring the industrial units outside the industrial estates under the ambit of the fresh package.

While seeking location neutrality under the new industrial package, the State Government in a detailed representation to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has stated, “as per the land laws applicable in J&K, non State Subjects cannot purchase or get private lease of land and all the outside entrepreneurs are accommodated in the organized industrial estates only. Since the Government of India package is applicable only in identified locations, neither the benefit of this package could be fully availed by the entrepreneurs of the State nor could the industry disburse in the hilly and backward areas of the State. So the package should be made location neutral as had been done in the States of North East, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand in order to provide benefits of incentives to the units outside the industrial estates”.

Though location neutral demand has been out-rightly rejected by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, it has, however, given an indication that industrial units in clusters outside the industrial estates and thrust industries could be considered for extension of benefit of incentives. It is worthwhile to mention here that the Special Package Scheme given by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry included Central Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme, Central Interest Subsidy Scheme and Central Comprehensive Insurance Scheme. The Government of India package announced in 2002 was supplemented by the State Government under the State Industrial Policy, 2004.

Additional incentives are available to the industrial units in addition to the Government of India package like subsidy on diesel generating set, subsidy on quality testing equipment, subsidy on pollution control devises or some exemptions like Toll Tax exemption on inward and outward raw material/finished goods in the State and exemption from payment of VAT.

                                                  Apex committee approves first Mega Food Park for J&K


JAMMU, MARCH 15: The Apex Project Clearance Committee (APCC) Friday under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary Mr Iqbal Khanday approved 12 projects in Medium and Large Sector mobilizing an investment of more than Rs. 370 crores . The projects will likely result in the creation of employment opportunities for approximately 3000 persons directly.

The approved projects include the establishment of a Mega Food Park in SPV mode at a cost of Rs. 78.64 crores with a financial assistance of Rs. 50.00 crore from the Ministry of Food Processing Industry, Govt. of India, at IGC, Lassipora within an area of 400 kanals. The park will have a Multi-purpose Cold Storage, Warehouse, Slaughter Facility for Sheep & Poultry, Pack-house/Service Unit, Quality Control Lab, Reefer Vans & Collection Vans, Effluent Treatment Plant as common facilities with built-up sheds for Micro & Small Enterprises etc.

The Committee also cleared Four Integrated Controlled Atmosphere Cold Stores with a capacity of 20,000 MTs and an envisaged investment of Rs. 180 crores with direct employment for 300 persons. Four Industrial units were also approved for Jammu region with a cumulative investment of more than Rs. 100 crores. The projects approved include the manufacturing of Tor Steel, Power Generator Sets, Fruit Juices, a Potato processing unit and a Diagnostic Centre.

The Chief Secretary called for equitable development across all the regions of the state, keeping in mind the environments concerns. He gave strict instructions to the Pollution Control Board for ensuring preservation of the environment, while striving for development.

The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary Planning & Development, Mr B. R. Sharma, Commissioner/Secretary Industries & Commerce Mr Shantmanu, Commissioner/Secretary Agriculture Production Mr Shaleen Kabra, Chairman PCB Mr A.K.Tikoo, Director Industries & Commerce Kashmir Mr Mehraj-ud-Din Kinu, Director I&C Jammu Mr Gulzar Ahmad Qureshi, M.D SIDCO Mr Muhammad Muazzam, MD SFC MR A.R.Makroo and officers from Power and Finance department.



                               Alleged misappropriation in SICOP, CIC asks PIO to clarify his position



ET
Jammu, Mar 1: The Chief Information Commissioner, J&K, issued notice to Public Information Officer (PIO) SICOP seeking explanation from him as to why penalty proceedings under section 17 of state RTI should not be initiated against him for inordinate delay and his failure to provide complete information to the information seeker. The CIC also reprimanded FAA for befooling commission by giving fake reply.

The CIC proceeded against SICOP officials on the complaint of High Court Lawyer and RTI activist Kovid Khosla, who filed a query under RTI to SICOP seeking information of detailed items sold by SICOP, Jammu in the year 2010,2011 and 2012 to Executive Engineer, EM&RE division-1,Parade, demand orders with VAT and amount of purchases made by Ex Engineer (EM&RE Div-1).

When the information seeker did not get the information from SICOP after lapse of 30 days, he preferred 1st appeal before Managing Director-cum-FAA SICOP, but, he too failed to provide information to information seeker after lapse of 45 days. The information seeker then filed complaint to CIC, following which the competent authority issued summons to both the officials to clear their position. The representative of the FAA Ghulam Hassan Mir, DM (HQ) submitted before commission that the FAA gave directions to the PIO to furnish information to the information seeker within a period of 3 days. However, on going through the records of FAA, the CIC did not find any direction given to PIO by FAA. The CIC advised FAA to follow the provision of law as contained in the section 16 of state RTI Act, adding failure to discharge the statutory duties cast on any public functionary will be seriously reviewed.

After hectic efforts, when finally information seeker got information he was fumed as the information was incomplete and ambiguous. The aggrieved again filed complaint to the CIC and acting on the complaint, CIC took PIO on cudgel hand and directed PIO Jaswinder Singh to explain his position, further directing him to provide complete information within 15 days from the date of receipt of the order. The CIC further sought explanation from PIO asking him why the penalty should not be initiated against him and also sought reply within 30 days from the receipt of this order.

                                                        Industrial package-Editorial
Daily excelsior
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has put weight behind extension of industrial package to the State of Jammu and Kashmir for another five years. The life of the previous package, which had been sanctioned for ten years, expired in June 2012. The State Government had approached the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry to extend the package for ten more years keeping in mind the need of strengthening industrial health of the State in the background of two decade-long turmoil and also its geographical and climatic conditions. There have been several rounds of discussions on the entire gamut of industrial packages to the state and now the DIPP has desired the State Government to submit its report on thrust industries. Obviously the State Department of Industries will submit the desired information within the stipulated period of 15 days so that it is incorporated in the note for the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

The industrial package is not exclusive to J&K State. Other States, too, have been provided such packages based on the needs and requirements of each State. Since needs differ widely from state to state, industrial packages cannot be uniform. Thus each state is to be handled on the basis of its requirements. In the case of our state, the DIPP has already conceded that J&K has need for special package. But there are certain issues involved and the DIPP has not been able to accede to all that the J&K demanded. The question of ‘location’ of new industries is of much relevance to the extension of package to the State. The State Government feels uneasy with the location specific package. This has been explained by the State Department of Industries and Commerce in its comprehensive note sent to the DIPP. It had said.” As per the land laws applicable in J&K, non State Subjects cannot purchase or get private lease of land and all the outside entrepreneurs are accommodated in the organized industrial estates only. Since the Government of India package is applicable only in identified locations, neither the benefit of this package could be fully availed by the entrepreneurs of the State nor could the industry disburse in the hilly and backward areas of the State. So the package should be made location neutral as had been done in the States of North East, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand in order to provide benefits of incentives to the units outside the industrial estates”. The location neutrality in the case of J&K is a debatable issue and should be understood in the light of ground situation. Identification of locating an industry is more or less a technical and not political issue. A number of physical factors dominate the entire dialogue in this context. Setting up of an industry must fulfill a criterion set up by the policy planners. As such, identification is something in which the policy planners, experts and the representatives of the State Government are involved. They have to join heads and come to some consensual decision. Obviously this practice has been followed in our State and thus previous ten year package was sanctioned.

There is definitely a cogent point in the argument of the State Government that owing to strict adherence to the location formula of industries, the vast hilly region of the state and the people inhabiting it remain deprived of the benefits of industrialization. After all, what is the ultimate purpose of bringing in industries? It is to provide better life standard to the masses of people. By binding the industries to defined locations and segregation will not help in mitigating economic deprivation of the people of hilly areas. The solution does not lie in confining the new industries to the identified locations only, but to find the viability of bringing suitable industries and industrial culture to more backward areas of the state especially in its hilly regions. In that sense, the demand of the State Department of Industries is valid and needs to be given proper hearing. We are also unhappy that the DIPP has not accepted the request of extending package by 10 years. It must be kept in mind that encouraging self-employment and private enterprise also means to extend patronage to the industries.

                        Lack of processing facilities force flight of raw material from J&K: Kichloo

JAMMU: Stating that industrialization is key to tackle the burgeoning un-employment problem, the Industries and Commerce Minister, Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo Wednesday called for promotion of industries with strong backward and forward linkages. The minister also said that strong raw material back up, state of the art manufacturing ability and effective marketing channels are of primary importance to withstand stiff marketing competition, an official statement said.

Speaking at the first review meeting of the Industries and Commerce Department, and its allied departments and PSU’s, after taking over the charge, Kitchloo said quality control and cost effectiveness is also of vital significance to make the industrial sector of J&K thriving. He said focus of the policy planners should be to develop industry, which is primarily based on the locally available raw material in abundance having a vast local market also. He said it has been observed that most of the raw material for various industries goes outside the state as J&K has not been able to exploit and process valuable treasure in the form of an industrial output. Kitchloo also urged for a pragmatic industrial policy to extract world-renowned minerals especially blue sapphire (Neelam). He also called for a proper and effective management plan to be put in place to improve the working of various PSU’s to make these financially sustainable.

The Commissioner/Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Shantmanu while giving power point presentation about the working of the overall Industries & Commerce Department said that about 11792 industrial units with an investment of Rs 1923 crore have been registered in the state from 2002-03 to 2012-13, where 72340 jobs have been generated. He said during the current year some land mark initiatives have been taken up to give boost to the industries, handicrafts and handlooms in the state which include construction of Sanat Ghar at Bemina Srinagar to house all the Departments and Corporations of Industries & Commerce under one roof at Bemina, Srinagar at an estimated cost of Rs 27.21 crore. In addition, a 300 TDP capacity Grinding-cum-Packing unit is being set up at Industrial Growth Centre, Samba at an estimated cost of Rs 26.67 crores.

A permanent Infrastructure at Trade Facilitation Centres Salamabad, Uri and Chakkanda Bagh, Poonch is being executed on fast track basis at an estimated cost of Rs 895.00 lakhs and Rs 795.00 lakhs. He said a Pashmina testing and quality certification centre is being set-up at Craft Development Institute Campus in Srinagar to certify Kashmir Pashmina for GI Registration.

He said the Ministry of Food Processing, GOI has sanctioned a grant of Rs 7.00 crore for implementing the National Mission for Food Processing Scheme in the state adding that the civil work for extraction of raw magnesite from Panthal Reasi and establishment of Dead Burnt Magnesite Plant at an estimated project cost of Rs 160.00 crore at Panthal have also been started.


                                                        I&C Dept performance reviewed
                                             Gives 10-point Plan for promotion of Industry

JAMMU, FEBRUARY 27:-Maintaining that Industrialization is key to tackle the burgeoning un-employment problem, the Minister of State for Industries and Commerce, Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo today called for promotion of Industries with strong backward and forward linkages. He said strong raw material back up, state of the art manufacturing ability and effective marketing channels are of primary importance to withstand stiff marketing competition.

Speaking at the first review meeting of the Industries, Commerce, and allied departments and PSUs, after taking over the charge of these departments, Kitchloo said quality control and cost effectiveness is also of vital significance to make the industrial production of J&K a thriving Industry. He said focus of the policy planners should be to develop industry which is primarily based on the locally available raw material in abundance having a vast local market also.

He said it has been observed that most of the raw material for various industries goes outside the State as “we have not been able to exploit and process valuable treasure in the form of an industrial output.” “Result oriented awareness programme, exhibition and expos in and outside the State both in rural and urban areas of the country and abroad, can be significant in this regard, Kichloo added. Kichloo also called for promotion and revival of traditional and heritage handicrafts of the State by dove-tailing it with the modern technologies in design development.

Kichloo also called for effectiveness of Single Window Clearance system, technical monitoring of various industrial units and removing industrial sickness by devising workable revival plans to give a boost to industries in the State in a big way. Kitchloo also urged for a pragmatic Industrial Policy to extract world renowned minerals especially blue sapphire (Neelam) (by activations the Deptt. for generating revenue). He also called for a proper and effective management plan to be put in place to improve the working of various PSUs to make these financially sustainable.

“Somewhere there is lack of proper management and monitoring as despite having best and attractive industrial packages available both at Central and State Government level, the huge industrial potential could not have been exploited fully so far, “Kichloo said and urged for identifying chronic impediments in the way of fast industrialization. He besides employment generation, industries can bring all round socio-economic transformation adding that no nation can afford to thrive without having a strong industrial base.


                                                           Industries Sagging in J&K



ET Plus Report
Jammu, Feb 26: Industries in Jammu and Kashmir are showing signs of decline despite the incentives and concessions provided by the central government since 2002. Entrepreneurs and economy watchers say the state industries department has not been able to take steps it had promised to promote the sector which it had said was 'the only way to development and creating jobs.'

In 2002, the central government had announced a package of incentives and concessions for industries in Jammu and Kashmir for a period of 10 years. Also, the state had announced a new industrial policy in 2004 that will remain operational until March 31, 2015. But 'the policy is merely on papers and hardly anything is in
practical terms,' an industries department official told Early Times on condition of anonymity. Replying to a recent right to information (RTI) query, the department said there are about 25,000 industrial units in Jammu and Kashmir, including 150 under the large and medium category. Of these about 11,300 are in the Jammu region and the rest in theKashmir valley.

'Industrialisation is the only way forward for development and employment in the state. But Jammu and Kashmir has not been able to come up with an effective policy and pursuance to promote industries, which can boost the economy and address the problem of unemployment,' said a retired officer of the industries department. He said the government had not been able to incentivise the sector. 'As a result, people are hesitating to start industries and industrial houses from outside the state too are shying away.'

The industries department, he said, was yet to set up a long promised 'Textile Park' in Kathua to provide employment to 3,000 people. Sham Sharma, a 31 -year unemployed in Jammu, said he met state Industries and Commerce Minister in May 2009, heading a deputation of over 25 unemployed youths. Minister promised that he was personally supervising the registration of new units that would not take more than seven days and that a complaint redressal centre had been set up. 'Nothing has happened till date. We are still finding problems in setting up industries in Jammu in terms of getting land and other formalities,' Sharma said.
'The government's apathetic attitude towards the industries sector is resulting in many units going sick,' said R.S. Padha (name changed), who runs a small scale unit in the Bari Brahmana Industrial area. According to an RTI reply, nearly 350 industrial units in the state have gone sick in the last 10 years. 'The generic nature of these units going sick during the last 10 years was turmoil in the Kashmir region, besides inadequate financing by banks and lack of marketing facilities for end-products,' said the government in the RTI reply.

Said Sharma: 'This proves that the government has no policy at all. The industries minister had told us that there were strict instructions by the finance ministry to banks to meet the targets of loans and action would be taken against the banks that do not meet the targets.' Gupta said entrepreneurs were facing problems in getting raw material and marketing the end-products. Besides, there is the problem of power shortage. 'But that is partly compensated by 100 percent subsidy on diesel generator sets of 10-100 KV.'


                                  Centre likely to extend industrial package to J&K by 5 yrs.
                                      DIPP seeks details on thrust industries within 15 days

Dailyexcelsior

JAMMU, Feb 25: The Union Government is likely to extend industrial package to Jammu and Kashmir by another five years and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has sought details about the thrust industries from the Industries and Commerce Department of the State Government within 15 days so that the information could be incorporated in the Cabinet memorandum to be submitted to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in this regard.

Authoritative sources told EXCELSIOR that in a latest round of discussion held with the Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Saurabh Chandra at Union Capital few days back, it was conveyed to the State Government that Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has agreed to extend the industrial package to Jammu and Kashmir by five years instead of 10 years and a Cabinet memorandum is being prepared for placement before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for approval.

The fresh industrial package would be given effect from June 14, 2012 when the earlier package of incentives sanctioned for 10 years in 2002 had expired, sources said while disclosing that the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has not put any weight behind the demand of Jammu and Kashmir Government to extend the package for another 10 years and bring the industrial units outside the industrial estates under the ambit of the fresh package.

While seeking location neutrality under the new industrial package, the State Government in a detailed representation to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has stated: “As per the land laws applicable in J&K, non State Subjects cannot purchase or get private lease of land and all the outside entrepreneurs are accommodated in the organized industrial estates only. Since the Government of India package is applicable only in identified locations, neither the benefit of this package could be fully availed by the entrepreneurs of the State nor the industry could disburse in the hilly and backward areas of the State. So the package should be made location neutral as had been done in the States of North East, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand in order to provide benefits of incentives to the units outside the industrial estates”.

Though location neutral demand has been out-rightly rejected by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, it has, however, given an indication that industrial units in clusters outside the industrial estates and thrust industries could be considered for extension of benefit of incentives, sources informed, adding the DIPP Secretary has given 15 days time to the Industries and Commerce Department of State to furnish details in this regard so that the same could be incorporated in the Cabinet memorandum being prepared for placement before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

In response to a question, sources said, “in the context of Jammu and Kashmir, the thrust industries are handicrafts, eco-tourism and exploration of minerals etc and Industries and Commerce Department has started preparing a detailed note in this regard for onward submission to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion”. It is worthwhile to mention here that the Special Package Scheme given by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry included Central Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme, Central Interest Subsidy Scheme and Central Comprehensive Insurance Scheme. The Government of India package announced in 2002 was supplemented by the State Government under the State Industrial Policy, 2004.

“Additional incentives are available to the industrial units in addition to the Government of India package like subsidy on diesel generating set, subsidy on quality testing equipment, subsidy on pollution control devises or some exemptions like Toll Tax exemption on inward and outward raw material/finished goods in the State and exemption from payment of VAT”, sources said.

Sources further said, “as far as new industrial estates are concerned, 3500 kanal of land has been acquired in Ghatti, Kathua and at present the clearance of this industrial estate is stuck up with the Environment Ministry”, adding “the acquisition of 122 kanal of land at Rajouri, 142 kanal at Poonch, 39 kanal at Doda, 235 kanal at Udhampur and 123 kanal Silk Cluster Rajouri is going on for establishment of industrial estates”.


                                 PDD proposes 14% hike in power tariff for 2013-14
                                           Submits Plan to SERC For Approval

Srinagar, Feb 23: The Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Department has approached the State Electricity Regulatory Commission seeking an annual increase of 14 percent in the existing power tariffs rates to the consumers for 2013-14.
Chief Engineer PDD, (Commercial and Survey), Vinod Khajuria said they have submitted the plan before the Commission which would take a final call on increasing power charges to different category of consumers.The SERC is a statutory body having quasi-judicial powers to regulate the power sector in JK.

A PDD notification said the department has proposed an average tariff hike of 13.53 percent which would reduce the gap in revenue generation by Rs 254 crore for the next financial year. Assistant Executive Engineer, PDD (Commercial and Survey) Azhar Vakil said for metered consumers in Domestic and Commercial category the proposed hike in power charges was seven percent. The hike for unmetered consumers in these categories has been proposed at 14 percent to the existing rates, he said. Accordingly the department has sought approval for the revising power charges plan for other category of consumers. “We want to encourage consumers to switch over to metering system and this is the reason for additional increase in tariff hike proposal for non-metered consumers,” Vakil said.

However, he said the authority lies with the SERC to decide on hiking the power charge rates. “Ours is just a proposal,” Vakil said.
To meet the projected energy requirements of 5478 million units (MUs) in J&K during the next year the PDD has submitted Power Purchase Plan of Rs 3764 crore before the SERC. Last year the Power Purchase Bill was pegged at Rs 3205 to meet the energy requirements of 4719 MUs. Sources said on the direction of the SERC the PDD, for the first time, submitted the Multi Year Tariff Petition before the Commission for next three years, 2013-14 to 2015-16. An official said the Commission has called public meeting in Jammu and Kashmir to seek response from consumers ahead of approving the annual tariff rates for the next year


                                                  Of endangered industries and official apathy
                                                          `70% units closed down in Jammu'

Early Times
Jammu, Feb 23: Thanks to the `non-professional attitude of Omar led coalition Government, the industries in Jammu and Kashmir have suffered a huge setback. Reports about closure of 70% of the industrial units in Jammu have been received. Local industrialists of Jammu feel that the incumbent Government is not doing what it was supposed to do to promote industries. According to them, the Government invites big industrialists from outside who first establish business here and go back after making a fortune.

Talking to Early Times, few local industrialists said that present Government is not supporting locals in promoting the industries. "But when Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was the Chief Minister, we (industrialists) received incentives to promote the industry," they said.
"After Mufti took the charge of State in 2002, industries got a new lease of life. The biggest favour which Mufti did to industries was remission of VAT, which gave relief to many local industrialists," they added. According to them, it is in total contrast to what the Government did two to three decades ago. "The Government would provide land and various incentives. But the apathy of the incumbent Government scares people away", they said.

"The present Government is claiming that they have adopted single window system for aspirants wanting to set up industrial units. But the reality is something different as for months an interested person has to run from pillar to post to get things done. Such a complicated system has been put in place which keeps interested people at a distance and youth have lost interests in starting any factory and take it as a profession", they lamented. They said the policy of the Government had result in brain drain as young and efficient people were moving to other States to earn a livelihood. The J&K Government has failed to safeguard their interests as well as interest of local industrialists who are somehow carrying things along despite cruel attitude of Government, they accused. In Jammu near about 70 percent industrial units have been closed and if Government doesn't adopt any positive policy towards them, industries may be wiped out from the State.


                          Units supplying sub-standard material to be blacklisted : Kichloo
Excelsior
JAMMU, Feb 21: Assuring strict implementation of the guidelines for granting purchase preference to small and micro industries, as a marketing support, the Minister of State for Industries and Commerce, Home, Tourism and R&B, Sajad Ahmed Kichloo today urged for greater focus on quality control of product adding that there cannot be any compromise in this regard.

Speaking to the representative of Small Scale Unit holders, at a high level meeting here today, Mr. Kichloo said while it was duty of the Government to provide marketing support to the local industry as a promotional measure, it was obligatory for unit holders to produce only standard quality products which was imperative to withstand stiff competition in the open market.

The Commissioner/Secretary PWD (R&B), Tanveer Jehan, Commissioner Secretary Education Farooq Ahmed Faktoo, Secretary Sheep and Animal Husbandry M.A Bukhari, Additional Secretary Industries and Commerce, Khurshid Ahmed and representative of other concerned departments were present in the meeting. The SSI unit holders were represented by the President Federation of Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Er. Zahoor Ahmed, Vice President Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Vice President FCIK, Javed Bhat, Ex Chairman FCIK, Jammu, T. S. Rism and J. S. Jamwal.

Mr. Kichloo asked the Administrative Secretaries of various departments to ensure that all the laid down guidelines of the cabinet decision regarding 15% purchase preference to the SSI unit holders through Jammu and Kashmir Small Scale Industrial Development Corporation (JKSCOP) are implemented in letter and spirit.

He said the unit holders indulging in supplying sub-standard products/materials would be blacklisted, adding that purchase committees in the concerned departments especially Sheep and Animal Husbandry, Health department, Education department (RMSA work) and the Chief Engineers of both Kashmir and Jammu divisions will be asked to ensure purchase preference to local industry. However, there should be no compromise on quality, he added. The representatives of Pharmaceutical Industry also put forth their demands.


                              J&K seeks coal block to meet energy needs

KT

JAMMU, Feb 21: Jammu and Kashmir is seeking allocation of coal block from Union Ministry of Coal under government dispensation route for setting up of a pit-head thermal power plant of 1000 MW capacity to meet the energy needs of the state. State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) has initiated action on this initiative on the directions of the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. In this connection, Omar on Wednesday received detailed brief on the proposed project at the 68th meeting of Board of Directors of JKSPDC he chaired here.

Managing Director, JKSPDC, Basharat Ahmad Dhar informed that with the approval of the Chief Minister the Corporation sought allocation of coal block out of the eight suitable blocks notified by Union Ministry of Coal in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand. He said eight papers were submitted by the JKSPDC for allocation of coal block. This path breaking initiative would help to augment power supply by 1000 MWs and meet the generation needs especially during the winter when the generation of hydro electric projects recedes and demand increases.

Underlining the necessity of a coal-run thermal power plant to generate 1000 MW electricity round the year, the Chief Minister said that Jammu and Kashmir would get greatly benefited by such a type of power project and help mitigate the difficulties on power supply count in the peak demand periods. Omar said that power sector was the focused area and multi-pronged strategy was put in place by his government to increase the power generation manifolds and help flourishing of wide-ranging economic activities in the state besides meeting the domestic power needs.

The Chief Minister said that his government was determined to transform Jammu and Kashmir from power deficit state to energy sufficient one and relieve the people from the constant burden of load shedding and power cuts. He said availability of sufficient power was also necessary for the growth of industry and trade activities.

“We are trying to avail all possible means to address energy problem and make necessary dent in this sector,” he said adding that upgradation of power supply and distribution system was also receiving due attention. Omar asked the JKSPDC to fast track the completion of projects under its implementation in the state. He also directed for ensuring time line completion of works under execution in joint venture and other modes.

The Board approved the proposal of placing the recommendation of JKSPDC before the cabinet for award of EPC contract for construction of 48 MW Lower Kalnai and 21 MW Patnazi Bunjwah HEP through IPP route to successful bidders. With these two projects, the number of projects approved for award during the current financial year would increase to 13 with a capacity of 712 MWs. The Board also approved the road map for capacity addition of about 9036 MWs in the state during the 12th and 13th Five Year Plan periods comprising 7357 MWs in state sector including JV and IPP mode projects.

As many as 10 projects with an aggregate capacity of 3824 MWs would be constructed by JKSPDC. The meeting discussed matters relating to the funding of power projects, construction of external access road to Sawalakot, financial closure of 9 MW Dah and 9 MW Hanu HEPs, setting up of 5 MW TDP-cum-Resource Assessment Geo-thermal project at Pugah Leh, status of implementation of projects, setting up of football academy, action taken on decisions taken in previous meetings and issues pertaining to administration and management of the Corporation.

The Board also reviewed the status of implementation of Baglihar HEP-II, Parnai, Lower Kalnai, New Ganderbal, Sawalakote, Karthai-I and II HEPs. It also discussed matters of pension policy, regularization policy and compassionate appointment policy for the Corporation employees. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary, Mohammed Iqbal Khanday, Economic Advisor Jalil Ahmad Khan, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister B B Vyas, Principal Secretary Power Development Department, A K Mehta, Managing Director, JKSPDC, Basharat Ahmad Dhar, Executive Director, Zahoor Ahmad Chat, Secretary JKSPDC, Sunil Gupta besides other senior officers.

                                         JK exports `2300 cr. handicraft
GK

Jammu, Feb 20: Saying that world famous handicrafts of the state have a vast scope to generate economy and employment, Minister of State for Industries and Commerce, Sajad Ahmed Kichloo today called for optimum exploitation of its abundant potential in a big way.

Speaking to a group of artisans, which called on him today at Civil Secretariat, Jammu Kichloo said that the export of handicrafts from the State has reached Rs 2282 crore by the end of November, adding that promotion of this heritage sector is in the main focus of the Government planning. Kichloo, according to an official statement, said that for the convenience and benefit of the artisans, the slab of Micro Credit for has been raised from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1 lakh without any mortgage and the interest subsidy has also been enhanced from 5% to 10%.

                      After two and half year, electricity Ombudsman fails to see daylight



ET
JAMMU, Feb 20: The administrative inertia in various Government departments in Jammu and Kashmir can be gauged from the fact that the Power Development Department (PDD) has failed to appoint much awaited Electricity ombudsman, after the lapse of more than two and half years, since the issuance of notification.

Sources informed Early Times that under Jammu and Kashmir Electricity Act 2010, the SERC had issued regulations for the appointment of Electricity Ombudsman, its powers and jurisdiction in its notification issued on June 10, 2010, but astonishingly, the State Government was yet to appoint the Ombudsman and its Secretariat and file was running between PDD and Finance for the last around two years. "The file for the "Appointment of Forum for Redressal of Grievances (FGR) of the Consumers, commonly known as Electricity Ombudsman was recently once again forwarded by PDD department to Finance, for getting financial concurrence," they said.

They further said that around one month back, the Finance department had returned the same file, raising a query that if Bijli Adalats were already in place across State, then what was the need for constitution of another institution for same purpose. "After proper deliberation over the query raised by Finance, the PDD department on February 18, 2013, once again send the file clarifying the need of the Ombudsman, inspite of availability of Bijli Adalats," sources said.

They further said that though the Government was crying hoarse over ever increasing transmission and distribution losses but the proposed remedies were nowhere in sight. "Now the file has been sent by PDD to Finance department, which has to take decision on the financial aspects involved in the creation of Electricity Ombudsman post and its staff and immediately after the clearance from the Finance Department, the file would be send to PDD for further procedure to execute it.

"The territorial limits of Electricity Ombudsman shall extend to the whole of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Electricity Ombudsman is to be provided with a Secretariat, whose expenses shall be paid out of the Fund constituted under section 80 of the Act," they added.

                                Kichloo assures price preference to local industries
DE
JAMMU, Feb 19: With a view to give boost to the local industry, Minister for Industries and Commerce, Sajad Ahmed Kichloo today ordered strict enforcement of price and purchase preference by all the Government Departments and State owned Public Sector Undertakings and autonomous bodies to the local industries including power equipment industry.

Speaking at a high level meeting convened here to take stock of the demands of electric industrial unit holders, Kichloo enjoined to make purchases of notified key materials manufactured by local industries through J&K SICOP. He said marketing support is imperative for promoting local industry in view of the State’s topographical and locational disadvantage.The Commissioner/ Secretary Industries and Commerce, Shant Manu, about 20 representatives of Federation Chambers of Industries of both Jammu and Kashmir divisions including co-chairman, Federation Chamber of Industries Jammu, Anil Suri, Secretary General Lalit Mahajan, President, FCI, Kashmir Zahoor Ahmed Bhat, Senior Vice President, FCIK, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Vice President, FCIK, Javed Ahmed Bhat were present in the meeting.

Kichloo impressed upon the unit holders to focus on quality parameters of the products to withstand stiff market competitions. “It is our responsibility to explore all the possible marketing channels for industrial unit holders but they will have to produce quality and cost effective products to capture its share from the open market as Government support only is not enough to make these self sustained ventures”, Kichloo added.

The FCI representatives, while highlighting their demands, said that about 240 electric units under DIC scheme with about Rs. 800 crore investment have come up in the State which is next to the Cement Industry, adding that the Procurement and Material Management Wing (PMMW) of the Power Development Department (PDD), which procures products from the unit holds, need to be reactivated.
Apart from price preference, the representatives of FCI demanded VAT refund from SICOP, extension of VAT remission beyond 31st March, 2013, infrastructure improvement in industrial estates, ownership rights to industrial plot holders, transport subsidy for raw material and Income Tax exemption. The FCI, Kashmir also demanded to associate the local industry with RAPDRP for procuring tubular polls, ACSR conductors, transforms, cables and switchgear etc.

                                   CM hears SKEWPY entrepreneurs, promises a lot
                              Dejected youth see unemployment graph soaring

ET

JAMMU, Feb 19: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah yesterday while expressing satisfaction over the popularity of SKEWPY among educated youth, underlined the need for bringing the clearance process for launch of economic units under Public Service Guarantee Act (PSGA) to make it time bound and hassle-free.
After patiently hearing the experience of entrepreneurs who have established or are in the process of setting up economic units under SKEWPY at marathon interaction session organized by Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) here this afternoon, the Chief Minister said that success attained by the entrepreneurs taking advantage of SKEWPY would serve as an important motivating factor for others to follow the suit. The SKEWPY, Chief Minister must know is a total failure. The number of unemployed youth has not decreased since it was announced on December 5, 2008. The graph is ever increasing. Of course thousands of persons join the list of unemployed every year. But notwithstanding this, the graph is ever increasing.

Under this SKEWPY scheme, Government announced overseas employment, which is yet to get started. Not a single employment had been provided under scheme despite the fact that huge money was spent by Government to send its Ministers abroad. On the name of searching employment overseas, Ministers only spent tax money and enjoyed the hospitality outside.

The Government also spent lakhs of rupees in organizing the employment fair in every nook and corner of the State but to no avail and these employment fairs have failed to generate employment. Still every month Government holds employment fair and Ministers attending these fairs have not helped the cause. "Whenever I see an employment notice, I fill up the form and submit an amount required for the purpose. But having less percentage of marks despite being a post graduate, I remain at the back," said Ashiq Hussain, of Poonch, who was in Jammu to fill up another form.

On the other hand, Government has not been able to convince private players to invest in the State but by not addressing their concerns, not many private players have invested in the State. Even those who earlier invested and generate few hundred employments have started to pack their bags back.

One such example is of Tata teleservices private limited who have wound up from the State. The Government did no effort to help in the cause. Hundreds of employees working in Tata teleservices have become jobless and are wondering for new opportunities. Similarly, the industries in the State are thinning but the Government hadn't yet come with such a proposal which could give industries a new life.


              PDP holds protest against MoS Industries, SIDCO authorities

Early Times

JAMMU, Feb 18: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today held protest against the Minister of State for Industries and Commerce Sajjad Ahmad Kitchloo. They were protesting against the encroachment of farmland at Mandhera area of Samba by SIDCO authorities. The protest was led by PDP leader Sunny Sangral.

The villagers also joined the protest. Addressing the protesting people, Sangral condemned the encroachment of farmland by SIDCO authorities, who destroyed the standing crop by pushing tractors the other day. When the ladies tried to stop the employees from pushing tractors they misbehaved with them. Sangral demanded from MoS Industries and Commerce to provide compensation to farmers for their loss.
He also demanded that encroachment should be stopped by the SIDCO immediately otherwise people would be compelled to intensify the agitation. Others who were present included Darshan Lal, Janak Raj, Parkash Chand, Suraj Ram, Karnel Chand and Baldev Raj.



                                    Factory workers protest at SIDCO complex

 SAMBA, Feb 13: A large number of workers/ labour force from several factories located at SIDCO Industrial complex, Samba held strong protest demonstration against the management and the Labour Department.

A large number of workers/ labours from Cadila Pharmaceuticals, Indo-Swift, HPM and several other units struck work today and held protest demonstration, followed by dharna in the complex here today. They were demanding bringing an end to labour contract system and enhancement of their wages. The workers raised slogans against the Managements of the Units, Labour Department and the District Administration for the exploitation of the poor labour class. They alleged that field staff of the Labour Department never bothered for the welfare of the workers and always favoured wealthy industrialists due to their vested interests. They have failed to safeguard the interests of the work force and mostly serving for the industry owners and watching their interests for the reasons best known to every one.

MLA Samba, Yash Paul Kundal, president Rajput Sabha, several Sarpanchs of the area also joined the protest dharna. They also favoured implementation of SRO 61 and enhancement of their wages from Rs 110. They warned the management, the District Administration, Labour Department officials not to become mute spectators and take decision for the welfare of the factory workers. Later, a deputation of people led by MLA met the DC Samba and sought his intervention into the matter. The DC assured to take up the issue with the managements of the factories and settle the issue amicably.



                              Manjit demands probe in politician-admn-industrialists "nexus" in Samba



Early Times
Vijaypur, Feb 11: Alleging nexus between the politicians, administration and some industrialists in Samba, former minister and senior Congress leader Manjit Singh on Monday said the industrial units in the district were ignoring locals and preferring outsiders in job sector.

While talking to a delegation of the truckers/truck drivers from Samba who called on him here he said industrial units were violating the norms. The deputation alleged that their trucks were not being given contract by the industrial units, while accusing the administration and police of taking one sided action against them on the behest of the industrialists. Singh said that industrialists take rebate from the government in electricity and other things for running their units "but they did not fulfill the commitments."

"They employ only outsiders on the top positions in the industry and the locals are not given jobs," he said, adding that even if they (locals) are given job, they are employed for 'labour' work that too through the contractors. He alleged that locals have no job security or facilities as employ of the industries since they are engaged on the contract basis through the contractors and can be removed any time. "The government should order a probe into the nexus between the politicians, administration, and the industrialists," Singh demanded.

                                                  IGC Samba gets sigh of relief

Jammu/Samba, Feb 9: The industries at IGC, Samba had relief from Friday when its goods started moving out of their factories which was held back for more than 10 days due to forceful siege of trucks by unregistered truck owners union.

According to a press statement issued from Association of Industries, the IGC, Samba is thankful to district administration and police department for taking appropriate action. The Association also extended heartfelt gratitude towards Minister of Industries & Commerce, Director General of Police, Transport Commissioner and President of Chamber of Commerce for their due support to end the deadlock. "Pertinently the Samba industries has suffered heavy losses due to so called siege 10 days due to self styled truckers union.

Early Times


                                Don’t impose any new tax: FCIK
 

GK
Srinagar, Feb 4: The Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) today urged Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather not to impose any new tax in the upcoming budget as “the people are already facing the pangs of inflation.” President FCIK, Zahoor Ahmad Bhat speaking at a pre-budget discussion with the Finance Minister today suggested the government should make the collection of taxes effective for resource mobilization. “However, it should not impose any new tax,” he said.

The FCIk suggested that the government should concentrate on power reforms in the state which would in turn reduce the expenditure on purchase of power. Nazir Ahmad Shikari, Secretary General (FCIK) giving details of the meeting with the FM told Greater Kashmir that the federation raised several important points in the meeting.

He said the FCIK suggested that the government should formularize a long term strategy to downsize the government machinery to reduce the burden of employee salary on the state exchequer so that more funds get available for the developmental works. “The government should take immediate steps to take back the Power projects from NHPC which have remained in operation for more than 20 years.” “The government should focus on reducing the transmission and distribution losses in the power sector which are hovering around 70 per cent for past so many years. The government should also fix a target for PDD to reduce the T&D losses by a minimum of 10% each year for next five years.”

The government may impose a cess on large corporate bodies who earn huge profits from the state without contributing anything towards social uplift. “The government may establish a Mineral Development authority with proper mineral development policy to explore the huge Mineral deposits of the state.”

The federation suggested to the government to impose entry tax on import of all such items which are produced by the local industry. “The government withdraw the entry tax exemption on import of Machinery allowed to outside contractors as this exemption is not given to local firms,” the federation said.
The Government should create a lapse account for the Kashmir Valley as most of the funds allocated to Kashmir Valley get lapsed due to late release of funds and short working season. The government should encourage private investment in Power sector and the mini Hydle projects up to 25 MWs should be kept reserved for local entrepreneurs.

The Government may provide sufficient developed industrial land for promoting the local industry. The government may provide a corpus of Rs 100 crore to rehabilitate the sick industry. The Government may stop double taxation i.e. Vat and GST of local contractors as the outside contractors pay only GST on the works.

The state may remove all the harsh clauses of the VAT act which hamper free and fair trading. The Valley-bound trucks are checked at Lakhanpur and Lower Munda while as Jammu bound trucks are checked only at Lakhanpur. FCIK demands that the Valley bound trucks should be checked only at Lower Munda. The Government should remove the impression that in the Kashmir region VAT collection is less as compared to Jammu by asking all C&F agencies to bill their product from the place where it is actually consumed, the federation said.

                                               Truckers hold Samba industry hostage



EARLY TIMES

Samba, Feb 4: The units of Industrial Estate, SIDCO at Samba have virtually closed down for want of raw material. A group of persons calling themselves Samba Truck Owners Union have blocked entry of trucks into the industrial complex.
An entrepreneur told Early Times that the truck owners enjoyed patronage of a political party. "The truckers face a lien period following conclusion of fruit season in Kashmir. To make good their loss, they have been urging the entrepreneurs to take tucks from them only against a hiked freight of Rs 27000 whereas they get the facility at Rs 15000 only.
"As the result of this siege there is no movement of material from the manufacturing units resulting in irrecoverable financial loss to the tune of crores of rupees along with loss of employment to around 10000 people, he said further alleging that local administration has failed to control the lawlessness.

The association of the entrepreneurs have registered an FIR and managed an order from a court directing the SSP to take appropriate action.. The matter has been taken upo with the higher authorities including the concerned DIG. However, the truckers continue to hold the business community hostage for their petty interests. The association has urged immediate and appropriate action to save the industry from losses.


                              'Govt working to formulate new industrial policy’
             KICHLOO INAUGURATES COUNSELING-CUM-FACILITATION CENTRE

Srinagar, Feb 1: Minister of state for Industries and Commerce, Sajad Kichloo today said the government was working to revamp the industrial sector in Jammu and Kashmir to enable it to provide livelihoods to educated youth. He said in this regard the government was working to formulate an industrial policy.

“The continued turmoil in the state as also some other factors have stifled the growth of the industrial sector in J&K. There are so many sectors which are untapped and where we need to work,” Kichloo said after inaugurating FCIK initiative, ‘Counseling-cum-Facilitation Centre’, at Barzulla Industrial Estate. “We will devise an industrial policy that will look into every aspect of the industrial sector,” he said, adding that the state government was already working on various power projects to cater to the electricity requirement of industrial sector in the state.

“Power is a cause of concern for industrialists, but the state government has taken various steps which will meet all the power requirements of the sector,” he said.
Kichloo hailed the Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir for its “endeavor” to start counseling cum facilitation centre for budding industrialists. “It is good that FCIK has come up with this novel concept that will encourage the youngsters to start their own industries and counsel them how to go about it.”

The minister directed the officers of Industries and Commerce Department to facilitate timely incentive to the entrepreneurs and provide them every kind of information and assistance through electronic and print media. Director, Industries and Commerce Department, Mehraj ud Din Kenu said that the counseling centre would facilitate the industrial fraternity and unit holders and make them aware about different incentive schemes being provided by the state and central governments.

“ Till date an investment of Rs 1184.55 crore has been made by the 15730 unit holders in organized and un-organized sector which are registered with the Directorate of Industries and Commerce Kashmir and providing employment to near about 69000 persons,” Kenu said, adding that “our department has registered 600 industrial units in last two years.”

President, FCIK, Zahoor Ahmad while highlighting the features of the Counseling cum Facilitation centre said that the centre will act as bridge between budding entrepreneurs and government departments and will create awareness about the incentive schemes.

Meanwhile the Minster also launched the website of the FCIK. The members of the chamber congratulated the minister on taking new assignment and assured them of every support. The function among other was attended by Director Handicrafts, Managing Director, SIDCO, MD, SICOP, MD, JK Cements and others.

                                 Omar, PC discuss funds flow, industrial package


KT

NEW DELHI, Feb 1: J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah met Union finance minister P Chidambaram and discussed matters related to resource position, Annual Plan, PMRP, Special Plan Assistance (SPA), extension of industrial package to the state, Security Related Expenditure (SRE), open market borrowing, flow of central assistance and other related issues.
Omar Abdullah expressed gratitude to the central government for liberal financial assistance to J&K in its endeavour to carry forward development strategy and meet expenditure needs on various counts.
In the meeting, Omar discussed matters relating to the resource position against the approved plan outlay of Rs 7300 crore and receipts from the centre against various components of the approved scheme of financing, as also the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Programme (PMRP) of Rs 700 crore for 2012-13 in detail.
As on date, over Rs 6301 crores under various components of plan financing have to flow from the centre to the state which include the balance of Rs 1719 crore under Special Plan Assistance (SPA) against the approved amount of Rs 1984 crore.
The chief minister emphasized the need for early release of the balance amount to meet the financial requirements of the state on various counts. He also urged for early release of funds under PMRP so that the progress on various projects under implementation under PMRP is not hampered.
Omar Abdullah also raised the issue of pending reimbursement of over Rs 253 crore under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) and said that the pending funds affect the resource position of the state. He underlined the need for early clearance of all pending claims in this regard.
The chief minister emphasized on exemption of additional market borrowing, included as a component for plan financing, from calculating the state’s FRL-constant fiscal deficit targets as recommended by the 13th Finance Commission for AOMB.
Discussing flow of central assistance, Omar said that in case of J&K, with limited working season, to ensure full and judicious plan implementation, there should be upfront release of sentral assistance and grants to avoid mismatch in the requirement and flow of funds which usually tend to flow at the close of the financial year, when the working season in most parts of the state is over.
“It would be much more meaningful if the tied funds and centrally sponsored schemes are sanctioned and released in the beginning of the year. Alternately, at least 50 percent funds should be released in April and balance after the stipulated percentage of available funds has been utilized by the state”, he said and asserted that states like Jammu and Kashmir where the working season is very brief, the releases should be made upfront or a system of proportionate allocation be made so that there is no liquidity mismatch in the state.

Batting for extension of special package for industrial growth in Jammu and Kashmir, the chief minister said that the incentive package for industrial growth has lapsed on June 12, 2012. He said the state government through the consultant deputed by Industrial Policy and Promotion (IPP), government of India and also as directly raised this matter with the ministry for commerce and industry for extension of package for another 10 years including the clause of “location neutrality” so that the industrial units situated outside Industrial Estates are also benefitted.

The chief minister sought early approval of this extension from the ministry of finance and the Planning Commission of India.
Omar also discussed matters pertaining to early clearance of Pakal-Dul Hydro-Electric Project by the central committees so that the Joint Venture would go for the financial closure and subsequent allotment of the project. P Chidambaram assured his full support to the chief minister in his efforts of resource mobilization and said that the matters raised would be sorted out on priority.

                                  CBI unearths Rs 174 lakh scam
                          Punjab industrialist, Revenue, PNB officers booked


JAMMU, Feb 1: The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) has unearthed a major fraud running into Rs 174.62 lakh involving a Punjab based industrialist, his associates in Jammu and some unnamed officers of Revenue Department and Punjab National Bank (PNB), Rehari Chowk branch.
The CBI, Jammu wing, has registered a First Information Report (FIR) No. 6/2012 in the scam and conducted raids in the premises of industrialist and his associates to obtain some documents pertaining to the scam.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the Revenue documents had been tampered with to such an extent that rate of the land mortgaged to the bank had been changed from Rs 40,000 per kanal to Rs 40,000 per marla to inflate its value for securing higher amount from the Bank.
Sources said the CBI team was on the job to ascertain identities of PNB officers and Revenue Department, who were at the helm of affairs at the time of fraud to name them in the FIR and pursue further investigations against them.
The FIR was registered against Ravi Kumar son of Lal Chand R/o Basti Nau, Jalandhar, Punjab, the Proprietor of M/s S.L. Rubbers Industries, Industrial Growth Centre, Samba, his associate Krishan Kumar Sharma son of Bachitru Ram R/o Gangyal and unknown officers of Punjab National Bank Branch, Rehari and Revenue Department.

Investigations conducted by the CBI revealed that the industrialist Ravi Kumar and his associate Krishan Kumar Sharma (mortgagor/guarantor) hatched a conspiracy with unknown officers of PNB, Rehari Chowk, Jammu and unnamed officers of Revenue Department and got sanctioned loan from the bank worth Rs.163.20 lakh. The loan included CC Limit of Rs. 65.14 lakh and term loan of Rs. 98.06 lakh. For securing loans, the accused deposited forged and fabricated revenue documents. The borrower turned defaulter and the loan accounts became Non Performing Asset (NPA) on August 30 last year with total outstanding of Rs 174.62 lakh.

Despite repeated reminders by the bank authorities, the industrialist refused to repay the loan amount on different pretexts. The senior bank officials then approached the CBI, which conducted investigations and found that it was a major scam in which the documents had been tampered with to convert land record per kanal into marla to inflate figure of the land value. After obtaining a warrant from the court, the CBI conducted searches in the premises (office and industry) of Ravi Kumar and Krishan Kumar Sharma’s house at Gangyal, sources said, adding that the CBI officials recovered some documents during the raid pertaining to the scam, which could be useful in further investigations of the case.

Investigations conducted so far by the CBI has also revealed that land measuring 20 kanals, situated at Langrial and mortgaged by Ravi Kumar Gupta in favour of M/s S L Rubber Industries had been evaluated by M S Arora, Valuer at the realizable value of Rs 80 lakh on the basis of revenue report dated 09.08.2005, submitted by Revenue authorities Chadwal in Hiranagar tehsil of Kathua district.

The Halqa Patwari Chak Dyala, Tehsil Hiranagar had issued the revenue report to Ravi Kumar Gupta, son of Chajju Bhagat Gupta R/o Kanji House, Jammu, mortgagor, who was accompanied by accused Ravi Kumar, borrower. The photocopy of revenue report was given to the bank where alteration were done in such a manner that Rs. 40,000 per Kanal rate was changed into Rs. 40,000 per Marla in Urdu to induce bank to sanction credit facilities in favour of borrower, sources said. They added that the CBI teams were in the process of identification of PNB and Revenue officers involved in the scam to include their names in the FIR. Sources said the CBI was looking as to whether the PNB officers had deliberately ignored mistake in the documents especially the conversion of land rate from per kanal to per marla. The role of Revenue officers, who were posted in Hiranagar tehsil at the time of valuation of land, was also under scrutiny. Sources didn’t rule out the involvement of senior officers of Revenue Department and the Punjab National Bank in the scam going by the huge amount involved in it.


                                     Push factor to boost J&K economy:
                          Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry
                   (ASSOCHAM )  for Rs. 10,000 Cr. 5-yrs. Annual Package


KT

JAMMU, Jan 31: Apex industry body The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has called for an annual special central package of Rs 10,000 crore per year for five years to create much desired push factor to boost sagging J&K economy and attract private domestic and foreign investment.
Assuming that this package would be spent productively, ASSOCHAM requested to the Government of India for announcing budgetary support to the J&K State in the forthcoming central budget to create job opportunities and induce a productive environment in the Valley.
These recommendations have been made in its strategy paper ‘Special Assistance for Development in J&K,’ prepared by the ASSOCHAM Research Bureau considering that Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has not been able to attract even half a per cent of the total live investments made by both government and private sectors across India.
The strategy paper was jointly released by D.S. Rawat, national secretary general of ASSOCHAM and Babu Lal Jain, chairman, Entrepreneur Development Council at a press conference held here today.
ASSOCHAM paper, which reflected a very bleak picture of J&K’s economy, stated that the suggested special package would give boost to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), food processing, horticulture, tourism and hospitality, IT/ITeS (information technology enabled services), BPO (business process outsourcing) and other potential industries in J&K.
“Constant flow of private investments and large industries is imperative to bring about sustainable growth, development, jobs and the long-lasting peace in the valley state,” said Rawat.
He stated, “The unfriendly investment climate in industrially backward J&K portrays the inhibitions of the private sector because of low supply and demand linkages apart from security and geographic concerns.”
According to the strategy paper, J&K has attracted live investments worth just over Rs one lakh Cr out of the total live investments worth over Rs 140 lakh Cr in India as of December 2012.
Government is the major investment source in J&K evidently as 1.3 per cent of the total investments made by the central government across states was put in J&K while the state attracted a meagre 0.3 per cent of the total investments made across India by the private sources.
“Out of the total 7,109 live investment projects worth about Rs 58 lakh Cr from all government sources across India, J&K attracted 187 projects worth over Rs one lakh Cr and of the total 9,950 live investment projects worth about Rs 83 lakh Cr from private sector, J&K attracted 28 projects worth just over Rs 27,600 Cr,” according to the ASSOCHAM paper.
While the frontline states in India are competing to attract domestic and foreign investors, J&K on the other hand could not attract any foreign investment as of the aforesaid period. However, J&K has clocked a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) growth rate of over 10 per cent as the value of live investments increased from about Rs 1.1 lakh crore with 212 projects as of December 2011 to 216 projects worth over Rs 1.3 lakh crore as of December 2012, highlights the ASSOCHAM paper.
The services sector accounts for the highest share of over 55 per cent in the total live investments attracted by J&K followed by electricity which has garnered a share of over 42 per cent while share of rest of the significant sectors like manufacturing, mining, irrigation and real estate has remained below one per cent. Investments in irrigation, electricity and services sectors have registered a Y-o-Y growth rate of over 56 per cent, 18 per cent and four per cent respectively.
While about 105 investment projects worth over Rs 94,000 Cr i.e. about 72 per cent of the total live investments were being actually implemented, about 77 projects worth over Rs 35,000 Cr i.e. over 27 per cent live investments are in the announcement stage. There is no information about the implementation status of 32 projects worth about Rs 267 Cr and the implementation of two projects worth about Rs 30 Cr has been stalled.
While analysing the growth scenario of J&K’s peer hilly states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, it was observed in the paper that state economy of J&K grew at the lowest growth rate of just over six per cent between 2004-05 and 2011-12 as against over 12 per cent in Uttarakhand and over eight per cent in Himachal Pradesh. India as a whole clocked a growth rate of over eight per cent during the same period, according to the ASSOCHAM paper.
“Locational disadvantage owing to hostile terrain and climatic conditions are certain major problems as main consumption markets of the country are way too far from the production centres in J&K,” it added.

In its paper, ASSOCHAM has stressed upon the need to improve the socio-economic infrastructure, physical infrastructure such as roads, power, telecommunications and others. There is also an urgent need for the state government to formulate policies, prepare a strategy and create a policy framework that shall encourage industries with potential to earn foreign exchange and generate huge employment.

Considering that J&K has only small and medium scale industries in traditional sectors, ASSOCHAM has recommended that policy initiatives must be proposed to incentivize MSMEs to expand the production capacity of the sector including handlooms, handicrafts and others which hold ample of export potential. Besides, access to finance must be made easy so that industry can undergo constant innovation and adopt aggressive marketing and increase its target market size.

J&K must consider exploiting the growth potential in the sunrise industries like electronics, pharmaceuticals, food processing, and gems and jewellery apart from developing the traditional industries to bridge the development deficit in the state, highlights the ASSOCHAM paper. Besides, there is also a need to develop basic infrastructure like proper road, rail connectivity, electricity and upgrading the skills of traditional craftsmen.

                                    Industrial units default in paying power dues

Early Times

Kathua, Jan 31: Many industrial units in Kathua have defaulted in payment of their huge power dues amounting to 3.36 cr according to the figures of the department of PDD.

The defaulting industries include M/S Satyam Cement Rs.1427810, M/S TK paper Mills Rs.2437756, M/S Sh. Bala Ji Pigment Ltd Rs 1334580, M/S VGS stone crasher Rs 1158331, M/S Shri Gases Rs 1947893, M/S Shreenath Rs. 2343122, Krishan Lal Rs. 1027316, M/S Aman Paper Mill Rs. 1135901, M/S KK Gases Rs. 1727257, M/S RK Griding Rs 3968521, M/S Krishna Stone Crasher Rs.1069540, Bharat Paper Ltd. Rs 2509283,M/S KP Papers partner Sarbjeet Singh Rs.11517053.

Raising their voice against the power theft by these units due to which the common people have to face prolonged cuts, several social and political organisations of Kathua have demanded action against these units and recovery of power dues from them at the earliest.

These organisations have alleged that the PDD is busy protecting the interest of the some industrialists by making mutual understating between them in lieu of money and imposed the burden on common man of the Kathua. The commoners are facing enormous hardship which are unnecessary caused by the PDD during the checking and frequent cuts for long hours have become the permanent and fixed practice of the department . The XEN PDD Fateh Puri informed the media persons that the PDD has collected near about Rs 78 lakhs out of Rs 33604367 from the industrialists and remaining was yet to be recovered.


                                                      Rs.100 cr. Steel Plant Coming up in Valley


GK
Srinagar, Jan 30: In a boost to the industrial sector in the Kashmir valley, a Rs 100 crore steel plant is coming up at Rangreth Industrial Estate here.Being constructed over spiraling 1 lakh square feet, the plant of the Himalayan Rolling Steel Industries Private Limited, constituent of JK Group of Industries, will be one of its first kind state-of-art unit in the north India, which will be fully automatically controlled by servers from molding to designing of the steel.

The plant is designed to facilitate twin mills: One, producing structural steel; Two, producing TMT steel. Both the operations shall take place simultaneously. “It is my dream project that can help provide employment in the Kashmir Valley. We are currently running the production of the unit on a trial basis and by the end of February plant will be fully operational,” said Shahid Kamili, Director Himalayan Rolling Steel Industries Private Limited.

Kamili said the unit will be fully automatic, controlled by computer-driven servers. “The plant will produce 18 MT steel per second, while capacity of TMT production will be 22-25 MT/hour,” he said, adding that the annual production of TMT and structural steel will be around 1.80 ton and 1.5 ton respectively. The plant will employ 600 persons besides engaging dealers and distributors. To mention, currently the steel products are being imported from Jammu and Punjab as there is no steel plant in the Kashmir Valley.

Kamili added that the plant is on AC variables drivers imported from Italy and this is the only mill in north India working on AC motions/AC drivers and AC variables which makes it fully automatic.

“The AC variables will stabilize the voltage and prevent any halt or discontinuation in the production,” he explained. “I am personally monitoring every aspect of the construction and designing of the plant. We have imported pre-engineered sheets from outside for the construction of the workplace,” he said. The plant has its own power plant with the capacity of 6 MW and separate quarters for the employees. Further the Gasifier has been installed in the plant which will convert coal into energy for running the operation of the plant.

“Use of coal as a fuel will help in reducing the cost of production,” Kamili said, adding that that looping mills are arranged in pairs, the bar leaving the first stand passes through a twisting guide to turn the bar 90 degrees and then it travels in the form of an arch in a repeater towards the next stand.

The plant has its own testing lab accredited by NABL. The plant has installed two weighing machines which will keep check on the raw material consumed and output products.The improved surface finish and closer dimensional tolerance is at par with similar products from primary sector producers like Sail, TISCO and RINL. The plant has its own tube well to meet the requirement of water needed for the production of steel and also in cooling the metal.


                                           JK at bottom of private investment in industrial sector
                                                  Security concerns, red tape keep investors at bay



early times
Jammu, Jan 28: Despite an improved security scenario in the state, Jammu and Kashmir continues to be at the bottom of private and Government investment in the industrial sector when compared to other states. Reports indicate that during the last one year Gujarat has registered an investment of over Rs.49,000 crores followed by Andhra Pradesh with Rs.10,000 crores, Mahara-shtra Rs. 7,000 crores and Punjab over Rs.1100 crores.
Against this, Jammu and Kashmir has registered an investment of about Rs.940 crores. Reports said that security related issues in the light of militancy related violence have been the main reason for very poor investment in the Kashmir valley.

Besides security related issues, red tape and corrupt practices adopted by the departments connected with sanctioning of the projects, giving various clearance certificates and other difficulties being faced by the non-local industrialists too had been the major cause for slump in private investment in the industrial sector.

There are reports that the touts incorporation has been hyper active in the state, which has been assisting private investors to get their projects established in the state, in exchange for huge commissions, which are passed on to the officers of concerned departments. The unholy nexus between these touts and black sheep in the concerned departments has also discouraged the potential investors to great extent.

The valley could register only Rs. three crore worth investment because a large number of industrialists from outside were not interested in setting up their units in Kashmir because of militancy related violence.

And the result of unstable security scenario is that Kashmir continues to lag behind Jammu region in terms of receiving outside industrial investments, getting just Rs 3 crore of such investments as against Rs 938.65 crore by Jammu till now.

According to statistics released by the State Industries and Commerce Ministry, of the total industrial sector investments of Rs 3514.05 crores in the state (right from inception till now), Jammu has a total investment of Rs 2235.29 crore. This is compared to Kashmir which has received a total investment of only Rs 1278.76 crore during the review period, it said.

While Jammu received Rs 1296.64 crore as local investment and Rs 938.65 crore in the form of non-local investment in the industrial sector, Kashmir got Rs 1275.76 crore and Rs 3 crore as local and non-local investments, respectively.

The industrial sector provides employment to 63,201 youth in Jammu and Kashmir, of which 48,003 are locals and 15,198 non-locals, the data said. As per the figures, as many as 29,251 people work in various industrial units in Jammu regions, with locals accounting for 22,373 workers, while 33,950 work in such units in Kashmir, employing 25,630 local workers.



                                          Vikrant calls on Commissioner Central Excise & Customs


Early Times Report

Jammu, Jan 24: Chairman of PHD Chamber of J&K state Committee, Vikrant Kuthiala has called upon Rajesh Puri Commissioner Central Excise & Customs, here today.
As per press release, a delegation of PHD Chamber of J&K State Committee headed by Vikrant Kuthiala, Chairman J&K Committee organized an interaction meeting with Rajesh Puri, Commissioner Central Excise & Customs. Kuthiala was accompanied by K C Sharma, Ajay Gandotra, Anil Gupta, Deepak Daftri, J K Mengi, Kuldeep Gupta, Naresh Gupta, Om Prakash Gupta, Rajendra Motial, Rattandeep Singh Anand, Rahul Sahai, Ravinder Sahini, Nandan Kuthiala, Rajeev Gupta, Bhuvan Kumar, Gopal Dass Gupta, Kulbushan Gupta, Narender Sharma and M L Mathur.

Issues pertaining to systemization and streamlining of cash refunds, expeditious sanction of Self Credit Refunds, Implication of High Court Order, Dt.13.12.2012, Clarification of Units working under Notification 56/2002-CE and which have planned or undertaken expansion under notification No.0l/2010-CE, Dt.6.2.2010, Implication of CBE&C No.967;/1/2013-CX,DT.1.1.2013, regular interaction with Trade and Industry were discussed during the interaction. The Commissioner assured of Streamlining and timely issue of Refunds. He advised the deputation to take up these issues at the Trade level, as well. Puri further stated that with rising Fiscal Deficit, there is urgent need for recovery of Dues. Rajesh Jindal, Additional Commissioner, Central Excise & Custom was also present. Vote of thanks was presented by K.C.S Sharma and function was conducted by Rajendra Motial.


                                                    National Mission on Food Processing
                           Empowered Committee headed by CS approves key components

DE

JAMMU, Jan 24: The State Level Empowered Committee (SLEC) headed by Chief Secretary, Madhav Lal today approved various key components under preparatory activities for the successful implementation of the National Mission on Food Processing (NMFP) Scheme in the State.

Chief Secretary asked J&K SIDCO, which is the nodal implementing agency of NMFP to place the proposals submitted by entrepreneurs for availing financial assistance under the scheme before the Committee for approval. He called for exploring partnership with JKEDI, Agriculture University and other agri-institutions besides taking responses and opinions from other concerned departments regarding the mission and its successful implementation.
The Committee also approved appointment of consultant for preparation of vision document and as Programme Management Agency for monitoring the entire programme implementation process during the initial period of two years.

Managing Director, SIDCO informed the meeting that Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries has sanctioned Rs. 5.625 crore out of the total allocation of Rs. 7.50 crore grant-in-aid for implementation of NMFP main scheme during 2012-13. He said that several prospective entrepreneurs, Self Help Groups etc approached J&K SIDCO and submitted their proposals for availing financial assistance under the NMFP scheme.
During the first phase of the 12th Plan, under the scheme, State will implement various components including technology upgradation, establishment, modernization of food processing industries, cold chain, value addition and preservation infrastructure for non-horticulture produce, human resource development etc.

The eligible sectors for financial assistance under the mission include fruits and vegetables, milk products, meat, poultry, cereal and other consumer products, oil seeds products, rice milling, flour milling, pulse processing and such other agri-horticulture sectors including food flavours and colours, oleoresins, spices, mushrooms etc.
Financial Commissioner, Finance M.I Khanday, Principal Secretary Planning and Development B R Sharma, Commissioner Secretary Industries and Commerce Shantmanu, Commissioner Secretary Agricultural Production Shaleen Kabra, Commissioner Secretary Animal & Sheep Husbandry M A Bukhari, Managing Director J&K SIDCO Mohammad Muazzam and other officers were present in the meeting.


                                           PNB disburses loan to 70 SME unit holders
Excelsior Correspondent
Jammu, Jan 24: With its objective to make its schemes for Small & Medium Enterprises attractive, Punjab National Bank disbursed loans to 70 beneficiaries at a function organized here today.

The lending function was presided over by Ashok Gupta, Deputy General Manager, Circle Head J&K Operations. At this function, loans under different segments of SME like in Transport, Retail Trade, Artisan, Service Sectors were disbursed.

Speaking at the function, Mr. Gupta said that SME sector in India has fast emerged as one of the major drivers of the economy and contributing 40% turn over in manufacturing sector. The bank has adopted aggressive and innovative strategies to make SME schemes customer-centric and for that Bank has strengthen credit delivery system, he added.

Mr. Gupta informed that the bank has tailored its various SME schemes to suit requirements of all types of customers at attractive interest rates and customers can avail hassle free loans up to Rs. 1 crore without any third party guarantee or collateral security by simply paying a token guarantee fee/service charges for coverage under CGTMSE.

Mr. Gupta further added that bank is encouraging women to come forward and is charging a concessional rate of interest with a flat 10% margin on these schemes. He informed that bank has launched special schemes like Sahyog, Artisan Credit Card, Sarthak Udami, Pragati Udami, PNB Grage Yojna etc. under scheme.


                                         Entrepreneurs engine of growth: Kichloo
Excelsior Correspondent
UDHAMPUR, Jan 23: Minister of State for Industries & Commerce, Home and Tourism, Sajad Ahmad Kichloo, has reiterated his commitment to push for establishing a viable industrial atmosphere in the State. He said promotion of industrial sector will create ample job opportunities for skilled labour force, enabling the Government to tide over scourge of unemployment.

The Minister gave this assurance after he was given a rousing welcome by Association of Industries, Udhampur, here this evening. MLA Udhampur, Balwant SIngh Mankotia, DIG U-R Range, Jagjit Kumar, SSP Udhampur, Ashkoor Wani and President of Association of Industries Udhampur, Sunil Verma were present on the occasion.

Addressing the business entrepreneurs, the Minister identified industrial sector as engine of growth that requires consistent Government hand-holding. "An industrialist can only flourish when it has sound backward and forward linkages and workable marketing opportunities. The Government has to play the role of facilitator that allows the unit-holder to attain optimum potential," he said.

Laying stress on establishment of industrial parks and growth centres in all far-flung districts of the State, the Minister flagged the issue for discussion with Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMED). "We will request the Central Ministry to at least sanction one industrial park in uncovered districts in which units with locally-available raw material can be established," Kichloo said.

Exhorting youth to embrace entrepreneurship as an alternative to Government jobs, Mr. Kichloo said time has come for young generation to experiment with self-sustaining business units. Over the years, a number of youngsters have proven their ability in as varied fields as food processing, wood-based, chemical, fabric and FMCG manufacturing sectors, he said, adding buyer-seller meets will become a regular feature when he is in charge.

Sunil Verma, in his welcome address, hoped that the industrial sector will get a new lease of life in immediate future.


                                     Annil elected BBIA President for 6th time, panel clean sweeps

Newspoint Bureau

January 19,2013
It was a clean sweep by the team headed by Annil Suri in the Bari Brahmana Industrial Association elections, results for which were declared today. Annil Suri was elected President for the sixth term defeating Devinder Mahajan by scoring 125 votes, Rakesh Bhat was elected Sr Vice- President defeating Rajesh Jain by scoring 127, Rahul Bansal was elected Vice-President defeating Suresh Mahajan by scoring 130 votes, Lalit Mahajan was elected General Secretary defeating Sah Dev Singh Wazir by scoring 158 votes, Tapan Dubey was elected Secretary defeating Viraj Malhotra by scoring 111 votes and Sidharth Dogra was elected Treasurer defeating Ajay Bansal by scoring 133 votes. The Election of BBIA for the term 2012-14 were held today at BBIA Bhawan under the Election Commissioners Sudhir Kumar, Sanjay Puri, Vishal Gupta, S PS Nayyar & Brig S S Sambyal. The total votes cast in the election were 217.




                                        Dues run into Rs 10 lakhs and above: PDD issues
                                notice to high-profile defaulters to recover Rs 54 Cr


KT

JAMMU, Jan 18: Finally gearing up its campaign against high profile defaulters (with pending dues equal to Rs 10.00 lakhs and above till December 31, 2012), the Power Development Department on January 17 put them on two weeks’ disconnection notice to recover its around Rs 54 Cr.

The disconnection notice under Section 50 of J&K Electricity Act 2010 (read with regulation 8.3 of J&K SERC Supply Code Regulation 2011 has been served to a total of 137 VIP defaulters including big hoteliers, owners of commercial establishments, industrialists from both Jammu and Kashmir provinces. The pending dues against these defaulters (104 from Jammu province and 33 from Kashmir province) amounted to Rs 53,87,68,209.

104 defaulters (with pending dues equal to Rs 10.00 lakhs and above till December 31, 2012) from Jammu province owed PDD Rs 39,96,24,209 while 33 defaulters from Kashmir province owed Rs 13,91 Cr.

Among the major defaulters in Jammu province also included the names of the Manager Hari Niwas Palace with Rs 83,34,649 pending dues, Simula Software Solutions with pending dues of Rs 31,91,822, Ashoka Hotel with 21,80,138, Asia Hotel with Rs 2007114 as pending dues, Kranti Hotel with 22,56,548 pending dues, Jhelum Resorts with Rs 15,92,297 pending dues. Notably the power purchase bill of the J&K is all set to cross Rs 3300 Cr in the coming days.

According to the public notice a sum of Rs 15.73 Cr is outstanding against different industrial units located in Samba, Rs 8.9 Cr in Shastri Nagar, Rs 3.36 Cr in Kathua, Rs 1.76 Cr against hoteliers in Katra base camp of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and Rs 13.91 Cr in Kashmir.

The defaulters have been asked to liquidate balance electricity charges within two weeks’ time failing which their installations shall be disconnected without further notice.

The notice further warned that the supply shall not be reconnected unless the consumer deposits the past dues. However after consumer deposits past dues, the installation shall be reconnected within two days as prescribed under regulation 8.12 of J&K SERC Supply Code Regulation, 2011.

As per the official statistics, the department had collected revenue of Rs 61373.138 lakhs from the consumers of Jammu division till ending December 2012.


                                    Pandey interacts with industrial fraternity to                           boost exports from J&K

Excelsior

JAMMU, Dec 29: Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Sudhanshu Pandey during his visit to J&K reviewed the performance of the ongoing projects funded under ASIDE scheme at Bari Brahmana Industrial Estate.

Mr. pandey subsequently held an interactive meeting in the Udyog Bhawan with the industrial fraternity of Jammu and members of Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The meeting was also participated by the representatives of exporters located in Jammu. The officers of Industries Department also participated in the interactive meet.

Mr. Pandey gave a brief about the working of the Ministry and the various schemes implemented through the Ministry which could be availed by the Industrial sector in J&K to boost their exports. He also gave a brief review of the ASIDE scheme and the Market Access Initiative (MAI) scheme wherein various benefits could be availed by the State Government and individual exporters.

The interactive session was attended by the Commissioner Secretary Industries and Commerce Department, Director Handloom, Managing Director J&K SIDCO, Managing Director, Handloom Development Corporation and Presidents of Chamber and various Industrial Associations.

The Joint Secretary gave a brief resume to the export community about the existing world trade scenario and informed that the exporters have to gear up their performance and statutory requirements in order to compete and export to world in view of WTO regime that various countries are adopting for trade practices.

The exporters took this opportunity to express their difficulties and requested the Joint Secretary to extend help in terms of infrastructural requirements, transport facilities and new avenues for tapping new markets. Mr. Pandey informed the business community particularly to entrepreneurs to avail the Market Access Initiative (MAI) scheme of the Ministry to promote their products internationally and explained that the scheme has to be either products specific or country specific.

House panel inspects industrial units in Samba

28th Dec.2012 NP-
The Committee on Environment of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly today visited various Industrial units in Samba industrial estate to get an on the spot feedback about the impact of industrial activities on Environment and other allied matters. Headed by MLA, M Y Tarigami, the committee directed the management of these Companies for paying special attention towards health checkups of the employees and labourers of the Companies. He asked them to give priority to the locals in providing employment. He also asked the District Development Commissioner, Samba to monitor these units for compliance of guidelines issued from time to time.
The Committee expressed serious concern over the impact of hazardous waste on environment and called for long term measures for a common facility for dumping of wastage material. The panel asked the officers of Industries department to submit a detailed compliance report in this regard.
Legislators, Yash Paul Kundal, Dr Shafi Ahmed Wani, Advocate Abdul Haq, Charanjit Singh, Krishen Chander Bhagat, Peer Aafaq Ahmad, Prof Gharu Ram Bhagat and Abdul Razak Wagay gave their suggestions in making these units more beneficial and eco-friendly. During the tour, the Committee Members also interacted with the employees and labourers of the Companies and enquired about the facilities kept available by the unit holders for them.
On the recommendations of the Committee, the Chairman and Managing Director of M/S Saraswati Agro Chemical Industry, Bari Brahmna SK Bansal announced 10 per cent increase in wages in favour of their employees both skilled, unskilled and labourers immediately. He said this will be in addition to the normal enhancement in annual wages.
Earlier, the District Development Commissioner, Samba Mubarak Singh briefed the Committee members at a meeting held at district headquarters about various steps taken by the district administration for the protection of environment.
Commissioner/Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Shantmanu, Chief Wild Life Warden A K Singh, Director Industries, Jammu Gulzar Ahmad Qureshi, Chairman PCB Lal Chand, Director Environment and Remote Sensing, Suresh Chug, Regional Director PCB Liaqat Ahmad Dar and other officers from Industries and PCB departments besides senior officers from Assembly Secretariat accompanied the Committee during their visit.

                                            Industry craves for corruption-free JK
ST
JAMMU: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has poured his heart out while expressing anguish over outside business houses coming into Jammu and Kashmir whenever industrial packages are announced by the State or the Central Governments and ‘disappearing’ with the ‘disappearance of the concessions (incentives)’. In support of his argument he has rightly referred to, what he said, ‘ruins of outside big industrial houses’ in the Bari Brahmana Industrial Estate, which left ‘lock stock and barrel’ when the packages ended.

The assessment of the Chief Minister does carry some weight but at the same time there is need for serious introspection to find out why the big industry has been hesitant in investing in the State despite major initiatives taken by the successive governments, even before the outbreak of militancy.

Though Jammu and Kashmir possesses huge potential in hydel, mineral, horticulture, tourism and wood based sectors yet these have not been optimally explored due to variety of reasons-political instability, disturbances, special status and corruption being the few.

Because of political instability, the railways have taken six decades to chug train in the sprawling valleys. The belated experiment is fraught with several challenges which continue to manifest in terms of harassing the workers or blowing off the tracks, thus sending out a wrong signal, not encouraging for seeking investments.

Special status of the State has been a major stumbling block for luring or wooing the corporate sector to invest. Article 370 of the Indian Constitution has done more harm than any good to the State as far as industrial development is concerned. Psychological barriers have been the most de-motivating factors for entrepreneurs to raise their enterprises, which they could not claim to be their own. Notwithstanding this handicap, public sector had made sincere attempts to bring the State, especially the Valley, on industrial map but this too did not click for a long. The fate of Union Carbide in Khanmoh, Indian Telephone Industry in the Srinagar periphery and Hindustan Machine Tools in Shallateng is known to everyone. They had to wind up because of disturbances and open threats being hurled to technocrats from outside.

As far as the observations of the Chief Minister on rehabilitating and deserting the industrial estates by the outside industrial houses is concerned, he better check up with the industries and allied departments the reasons thereof. He will be shocked to learn that all incentives of the government turned out to be disincentives for many entrepreneurs who found themselves in the wilderness of officialdom. Red tappism, unnecessary delays in granting power connections or awarding pollution clearances etcetera have been major contributes in tarnishing the ‘industrial-friendly’ image of the State. If a random check is carried out, it will become clear how much time each entrepreneur has given in getting these pre-requisites completed in a State which, once upon a time, had introduced single window system for the purpose. This has not been the limitation with the outside entrepreneurs only; it is true about the local industrialists as well.

The plea of the Chief Minister about establishment of rail-coach factory is welcome, as it will generate lot of employment for technocrats, professionals besides skilled and unskilled workforce. But the question arises where it will have to be set up. In a polarised and highly sensitive state of Jammu and Kashmir, where setting up of a Central University could snowball into a big issue, the decision for locating rail-coach factory is not easy. It can create ripples leading to political crisis particularly when the attempt of the Kashmir centric State Government will be to have such a facility established in the Valley only which will provide lever to those who remain always on heels to agitate discrimination with Jammu.

Industrial growth requires a most congenial atmosphere which the State of Jammu and Kashmir is lacking as of now. Peace is yet to dawn fully. The violence is intermittently battering the state landscape. A small provocation paralyses life in Kashmir thus impacting the work culture, which is imperative for success of any industry. Since Jammu has got clubbed with Kashmir, the outside world takes this part too as disturbed, an impression which has never been clarified.

Certainly, Kashmir deserves a better deal given the brunt it has faced at the hands of its so-called Messiahs during the past two decades. The Chief Minister is right in saying that the State, read Kashmir has fought a war against militancy for the nation and, therefore, deserves special consideration. The Centre and the corporate sector should take this call and join hands and heads to address the issues he has raised. But at the same time Omar Abdullah should also find out the gray areas within his State machinery that have been instrumental in creating road-blocks in the smooth industrialisation. Delays have to be arrested and the level of corruption reduced if industry has to grow. There is immense need for revitalising all departments and agencies connected with promotion of this key sector which holds a viable answer to growth, as also, employment generation. Apart from focusing on outside investments, due thrust should be laid on tapping genuine talent in the State and not the parasites, who in connivance with bad elements in departments, just thrive on subsidies and concessions, which the Chief Minister has referred to.


                                        CM seeks Rail Coach Factory for State : Omar

Excelsior
JAMMU, Nov 27: Stating that Jammu and Kashmir has borne the brunt of militancy and experienced saga of miseries and loss of precious human lives to safeguard the country, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said that clubbing this State with the category of hilly and geographically difficult States for extending Central financial support and industrial package falls short of justice to the people of this part of the country.

"The waging of militancy was against entire nation and Jammu and Kashmir was a theatre for enemies to operationalize its designs. We have scarified life and property, thousands of women were widowed and children orphaned. We have undergone tremendous downward dip in economy, the progress of the State remained stand still, thousands of youth were rendered jobless and trade and industries received series jolt", he said adding that Jammu and Kashmir was injured to protect the country.

He said this truth needs to be borne in mind when the question of extending support to Jammu and Kashmir arises. He strongly advocated recognition of this status of Jammu and Kashmir and extending Central support to it for development and growth on this ground.

In order to help the State to overcome industrial backwardness and economic shortcomings, he said, the Central Government should announce Rail Coach Factory in the State as it has done for Punjab for the same reason. He also emphasized on transfer of Salal, Dulhasti and Uri power projects to the State while stressing on granting support to the State designed specifically for its specific needs. He said when the entire country was reaping the benefits of liberalization of industrial policy, Jammu and Kashmir was fighting the militancy war for the country. "The justice demands that we should be compensated and that too substantially for this reason", he asserted.

"Do not take us at par with other States. We have been on forefront to safeguard the country. We have sacrificed for the nation. Do not place us in the category of hilly States when the question of extending help to Jammu and Kashmir arises", he emphasized.

Addressing SMEs seminar on 'Building Capacities for Sustainable Growth' in Jammu and Kashmir organized by ASSOCHAM India here, the Chief Minister said that Micro Small Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector has been engine of growth in any economy and contributes lion's share in investment, employment, production and productivity. However, he said the large industries remain in focus of attention.

Omar said that MSME sector in the State has bravely withstood the turbulence, security issues, financial problems and many more difficulties associated with militancy and continued to contribute in the upliftment of State's economy.

"Many units sunk while many swam through tumult waters and sustained the unfavourable environment. This denotes the enthusiasm and capacity of local entrepreneurs to face challenges", he said and added that the State has witnessed outside business houses coming with the announcement of industrial package by the Centre and State Governments and disappearing with the disappearance of the concessions. He said Bari-Brahmana Industrial Estate still possess ruins of outside big industrial houses units which came here to take advantage of concessions and left lock, stock and barrel when package ended.

"I understand that industrialists are business minded and their goal is commercial benefits but showing presence for taking advantage of packages and leaving behind corporate sector social responsibility makes picture grim", he said maintaining that organizing of seminars and functions by the India-Ink in the State time and again during last some years should result in establishing industrial units by big business houses in the State which is not visible so far.

The Chief Minister said that his Government has focused on the growth and upliftment of local entrepreneurs and development of MSME sector. "Small unit holders are receiving concentrated attention of the Government to help them grow on their own feet and attain new highs in the field. He said total dependence of MSME sector on Government procurement and concessions in a way puts hurdles in their growth and development.
Omar said industrial unit holders should not entirely depend on these two factors but explore free market for sustainable growth. He ensured full support of the Government to local industrialists in this regard. "The dependence on concessions and Government procurement puts you at risk on the business planet", he said adding that if these two are not available your business will be at serious risk.

Omar said the role of Government in industrial development is of creating best environment for the entrepreneurs to take its advantage and grow. "I am also not in favour of reserving economic sectors for small and medium industries to venture upon. It should be left to them to invest as per their ability and capacity in the industrial fields they chose", he said adding that reserving sectors of operation for small industrialists often put them in disadvantageous position.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Industries and Commerce, S. S. Slathia said that small and medium enterprises occupy an important and strategic place in economic growth and development and universalization of MSME holds key in the holistic welfare of a State like Jammu and Kashmir.

The seminar was addressed by the president Jammu Chamber and Commerce and Industries, V. Y Sharma and President Bari-Brahmana Industries Association, Anil Suri besides various office bearers of ASSOCHAM, Bankers and other corporate houses.



                                        SERD rebuts Govt's vehement claims; says corruption, governance                                                      deficit root of J&K's industrial backwardness
                                                    'Entrepreneurs forced to 'pay' to get things done'


ET
JAMMU, Nov 22,2012: Owing to corruption and governance deficit, Jammu and Kashmir has failed to attract investors from across the country and even discourages local entrepreneurs to take bold initiatives for employment generation.

In the last 10 years since the Central government announced a special package for Jammu and Kashmir, not much has changed. Respective governments have remained complacent and hence, failed miserably in bringing about an industrial boom in a state ruined by violence, corruption and governance deficit. This scenario has seriously affected the government's initiative of employment generation.

Condition of ensuring at least minimum employment to the bonafide residents of the state is often violated by most of the industrial units in all these states. The owners of these units admit that they have to manipulate their records to comply with the conditions laid down by the state governments. This rebuttal to the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's vehement claims about the industrial scenario of Jammu and Kashmir has come from Socio-Economic Research Division of Planning Commission of India.

In its report, SERD has painted a grim picture of the industrial scenario. It has stated that special package has led to limited and restricted industrialization in Jammu and Kashmir yet it is still far behind other neighbouring states namely Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. SERD has reasoned governance deficit as major contributor to the disgusting industrial scenario.

It has said that good governance is the most important factor facilitating investment into a state while adding that entrepreneurs are forced to "pay" to get things done. The perception of high levels of corruption in a state discourages investment. This is a fundamental issue that needs to be addressed by the government. SERD has stressed that government needs to work on lowering the cost of doing business.

Division has advised the government to introduce strategic measures to weed out corruption and bribery where they exist. More transparency should be brought in sanctioning and disbursement of the package incentives. At the same time steps should be taken to improve working conditions and remuneration of public service officials. Greater use of IT interface should be ensured thereby minimizing chances of corruption and ensure time-bound settlement of claims and subsidies.

Further, it has said that a simpler application procedure would also reduce the costs of implementing the incentives. Moreover, in the specific case of tax-related incentives, they can work effectively if the underlying tax regime itself is also relatively well-designed, administered and enforced.

Further, referring to Jammu and Kashmir having prescribed the condition of ensuring at least minimum employment to the bonafide residents of the State, SERD has said that this condition is often violated by most of the industrial units in all these states, though on several occasions it was observed that these units often manipulate the employment data to show more employment of bonafide residents. They admit that they have to manipulate their records to comply with the conditions laid down by the state governments.

This fact has been highly reported in the local media and is widely accepted. Division has said that there is hardly any enforcement mechanism regarding implementation of this condition. However, the reasons for non-employment of bonafide residents range from the official version of non-availability to lack of skills and training in the residents to their reluctance and inability to do hard work.

The industrialists maintain that the local people are not able to do hard physical labour work and have high tendency of absenteeism, says the report of the SERD. Moreover, the local labour is also lacking in skills and training. They also have fears that the local labour may indulge in unionism which will harm the business interests. There is a clear preference towards employing migrant labour from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and others states who do not resort to hartals and strikes.

It needs to be mentioned here that scheme of package for special category states is under implementation for providing concession/subsidy to boost industrial investment in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand in order to reduce regional imbalance. The scheme was under implementation for providing incentives to J&K w.e.f. June 2002 and was extended to HP and Uttarakhand w.e.f. January 2003.

Under the package Central Investment Subsidy, Central Interest Subsidy, Comprehensive Insurance Subsidy and exemption on income tax and excise duty are given to industrial units established in these states.


                                            Omar for opening of Jammu-Sialkot route

Excelsior

JAMMU, Nov 8: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah today said that he would recommend opening of Jammu-Sialkote route for travel and trade to the Central Government so that it takes up this issue with Pakistan to initiate yet another important Confidence Building Measure (CBM).

Responding to a demand to this effect made by Federation of Industries, Jammu at its meeting with the Chief Minister here, Omar said that opening of this route for travel and trade would not only enhance people to people contact but give considerable fillip to the trade activities.

He said that while issues of opening of other routes and trade points across LoC figured in the priority list of his Government, he would advocate opening of Jammu-Sailkote travel and trade point on the International Border adding that it would prove highly beneficial for the people of Jammu and Kashmir to travel and undertake various economic activities.

The Chief Minister said that the banking facilities for LoC trade and enhancing the list of tradable items have already been taken up with the Union Government. He said that these are the issues to be mutually agreed by the two countries. He expressed the hope that the relations between the two neighbours will improve further and trade and travel activities enhance.

Omar said that his Government is taking all steps to encourage industrialization in the State adding that various packages of concessions are available to the investors to invest in the State. He said his Government would render all possible help to the industrialists to open their concerns across the State particularly in the Valley where industrialization has not taken up due to militancy and remoteness.

He said young and budding entrepreneurs in the State are encouraged and assisted to open ventures in feasible areas especially in the sectors of agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, animal and Sheep husbandry, software engineering, information technology, etc.

The Federation of Industries, Jammu led by its Chairman, Annil Suri also raised the matters pertaining to Government of India package of incentives to J&K industry, transport subsidy on raw materials and finished products, income tax exemption, establishment of mother industry, Cross-LoC trade, infrastructure development, VAT refund from SICOP, upgradation of Satwari-Kunjwani road, construction of new Balole bridge, installation of traffic lights at SIDCO Bari Brahamana Chowk and creation of new industrial estates.

Minister for Industries, S. S. Slathia, Political Advisor to the Chief Minister, Devender Singh Rana and Principal Secretary Planning, B. B. Vyas were present in the meeting.


                                        Govt submits detailed proposal to Union Ministry                          
Dailyexcelsior                     Expiry of industrial incentive package


JAMMU, Oct 18: The State Government has submitted a detailed proposal to the Union Commerce and Industry Ministry dwelling upon the need for continuation of incentives for entrepreneurs of the State, which had expired in June this year. “Top officials of the State Industries Department have interacted with the incumbents of the Union Ministry and explained that the incentives were imperative for survival of the industry in the State”, official sources said adding, “there were certain points of difference between the two, but they are likely to be resolved soon”.

Sources said that there would be no compromise as far as the issue of extension of industrial package to the State is concerned. “Another point of contention is that future timeline of the industrial benefits being extended to the State. While the Union Ministry was interested to extend the package for only five years, the State Government was adamant that the incentives be extended for at least another decade”. “The State Government had submitted that while extending the package for next ten years, the Union Ministry could go for a mid-term review after five years to suggest any modifications or changes, if required”, sources stated.

Minister for Industries, Surjit Singh Slathia has also written to Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma requesting him to hold an urgent meeting in this context at the earliest. However, sources stated that meeting was likely to take some time in view of ‘disturbing’ political developments at the Centre and also as Home State of the Union Minister — Himachal Pradesh is bracing up for Assembly elections in the first week of November”.

Authoritative sources stated that the State Government was deeply concerned over the expiry of package of incentives to industrial sector, which was a major source of employment for the entire State. The issue was also discussed in the meeting of State Industrial Advisory Committee held on July 24 this year under chairmanship of the Chief Minister.

“The State Government has strongly pleaded before the Union Commerce Minister their case and urged them to maintain status quo in all the industrial incentives being extended to the State till June 2012?, sources said.

“Since the industries server as major source of employment in the State, the Government had also urged the Commerce Ministry to extend these incentives to even industries located outside designated industrial estates. Earlier, the package of incentives had been given only to entrepreneurs located in the designated industrial estate of the State”, they added.
Industries Minister, Surjit Singh Slathia when contacted told EXCELSIOR that the package of industrial incentives were very crucial for survival of industry in the border State. “The industrial sector is being subjected to great distress due to expiry of these benefits. Several industrialists have also discussed the issue with me and the matter is also in the knowledge of the Chief Minister. The State Government is doing the best possible effort to ensure early revival of these incentives”.

“We are hopeful that the Union Industry will hold a meeting as early as next week to sort out the issue and then the file will be put up before the Union Cabinet”, he asserted.
Commissioner-Secretary Industries and Commerce Department, Shant Manu while commenting on the status of the package emphatically stated that several meetings had already taken place with the officials of the Union Ministry and that there was likelihood of an early solution to the problem.

Earlier, this year the Union Commerce and Industry Ministry had also recently conducted an Impact Evaluation Study for the Special Package Schemes, which were being extended to industrialists in the Jammu and Kashmir State. A team of officials of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (Special Package Section) had interacted with all the stakeholders including industrialists during their visit in March-April this year.
The objective of the Study was to evaluate various benefits, which were being rolled out the border State as a part of various Special Package Schemes. The officials have submitted their detailed report to the Ministry of Commerce.

The Special Package Scheme given by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry included Central Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme, Central Interest Subsidy Scheme and Central Comprehensive Insurance Scheme and all these schemes expired on June 14 this year.
The Central Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme had earlier started with subsidy of 15% of investment of plant and machinery subject to a ceiling of Rs 30 lakhs for a period of 10 years till 14 June 2012. However, with effect from 6th January, 2011, this scheme had been enhanced to 30% of investment in plant and machinery to industrial units in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector commencing commercial production or becoming operational/ functional as the case many be on or after 6th January, 2011 in respect of new units or additional such investment in respect of first ceiling of Rs 3 core and Rs 1.5 crore for manufacturing and service sector respectively.

The Central Interest Subsidy Scheme involved subsidy of 3% on the working of capital loan for a period of 10 years and the Central Comprehensive Insurance Scheme involved 100% subsidy on capital investment for a period of 10 years.



                                               Major fire engulfs Cadila Pharma;
                                                     damages likely in crores

DE

SAMBA, Oct 7: Property worth crores was gutted in a major fire at Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd, located in SIDCO Industrial Complex here today.A police spokesman said that fire started at around 12.20 pm. Due to Sunday the workers were not there in the unit. Some welding work was going on in the factory premises. Apparently due to welding the fire started from the store where finished products and raw material was kept.

Though, the factory had own fire fighting system, yet own workers they could not operate it immediately as concerned men were not available immediately due to Sunday. The factory men informed local Fire Station and two fire tenders were rushed to the spot. Director Fire Services, R S Sodhi disclosed that Assistant Director Fire Services and Fire Officer from Samba rushed to the site to supervise the operation. He said Fire tenders from Hiranagar, Bari Brahmana, Gangyal and Gandhi Nagar stations were rushed to the site. A total seven Fire tenders and 40 odd men were pressed into service and it took about three hours to control the fire.

Mr Sodhi said there was some breathing problem to a few firemen and they had to use smoke masks while fighting fire as chemicals were on fire in the complex. However, there was no loss of life or injury to anybody. The firemen were taking all necessary precautions during operation, he added.

SSP Samba Israr Ahmed Khan said that some welding work was going on in the factory premises and the fire started due to possible negligence on the part of men engaged at work. He said the goods kept in two stores were damaged in the fire. He said the plant of the unit remained safe as the fire was contained in time. The walls and tin roof of the factory, were damaged. Mr Khan further said the loss of property was being assessed by the factory management and it will be premature to project total loss. He said the police has registered a case in this connection and the investigation started.

Meanwhile, Minister for Industries Surjit Singh Slathia and Dy Commissioner Samba Mubarak Singh also visited the Cadila Pharma unit this afternoon. They spoke to some management officials who had arrived there. A management official has projected the loss of property to the tune of over Rs 4-5 crore. There are nearly 400 workers in this factory, said to the largest Pharma unit in the State.

                               Government to set up Corporation for medical purchases
‘                                   It Will Deal With Procurement of Drugs, Equipments,
                                           Ambulances, Diagnostic Machinery’


Srinagar, Oct 7: To do away with the existing drug purchase committees, Health & Medical Education (H&ME) Department in Jammu & Kashmir has proposed setting up an autonomous Corporation for the procurement and supply of drugs and medical equipment for government-run health institutions in the state.
Highly placed sources told Greater Kashmir that H&ME Department has mooted the idea of creating Jammu and Kashmir Medical Services & Supplies Corporation for the procurement and distribution of medicines and medical equipment for the health institutions falling under the jurisdiction of Health and Medical Education Department.
The proposal comes in the backdrop of the plethora of problems arising due to the hectic procedural route adopted by the purchase committees at the provincial and state level. Not only delays in the procurement, the purchase committees have often come under fire for the procurement of sub-standard drugs and favoring the blue-eyed companies in lieu of kickbacks.
At present, three purchase committees - Central Purchase Committee-I, Central Purchase Committee-II and Central Purchase Committee-III are operational in the state for the procurement of drugs and medical equipment.
According to sources, the proposed Corporation would be based on the pattern of Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TMSC) as the model of Southern State has worked successfully in other states too beyond expectations.
“It was in 1995 that TMSC was formed and since then many states have copied the model and have been able to streamline procurement of drugs for the government-run health institutions through this body,” official sources said adding that Centre is also toying with the same idea.
The Corporation, according to the sources, would have a fair ideal of autonomy in internal affairs and would be headed by a Managing Director (MD) like other Corporations.
“The proposed Corporation would have full-time manpower and below the rank of MD, there will be a General Manager, Quality Assurance Officers, Technical Officers and other lower-rung staff,” they said, adding that the main reason for delay in purchase of drugs was part-time manpower in existing committees.
“The officials like Directors of Health and Principals of Medical Colleges were unable to do justice with purchase committees due to their main assignment leading to the delay in procurement of drugs and it often triggered crisis in the health institutions,” they said.
Besides, the proposed Corporation shall have Board of Directors with Commissioner Secretary H&ME Department as chairman and other members being from Planning & Development Department, Finance Department and Health & Medical Education Departments.
“The Corporation would also set up fair-price shops in health institutions for convenience of the patients,” they added.
A top official in H&ME Department said that the Corporation would have wider mandate than the state level drug purchase committees to be constituted under the drug policy.
“It would not only remain confined to the purchase of drugs, it would deal with all purchases like procurement of ambulances and CT scan machines,” the official said, adding that drug committee, on the other hand, has limited scope.
The official said that the proposal for creation of Corporation has been approved by Planning & Development Department and is now awaiting the Finance Department nod.
“The proposal is lying with Finance Department and once it gives concurrence, it will be placed before the state cabinet for approval,” he said.GK


                                    Apex court guidelines on forest clearance violated
                                      Illegal stone crusher with no forest clearance in
                                                           Bandipora forests

DE

Bandipora, Oct 7: In a brazen violation to the Supreme Court (SC) guidelines, a private company in league with the Border Roads Organizations (BRO) project Beacon's officials and forest department has set up a stone crusher in the dense forests of Bandipora. The Company is run by the sons of the top politicians of ruling party. The stone crusher has come up adjacent to the forest land leased out to the BRO through a State Cabinet decision in 2009. Divisional Forest Officer Bandipora, Mohammad Maqbool Rather, dismantled a portion of the stone crusher in July this year but was reportedly asked by the Minister not to pursue with the demolition of the project and allow its functioning. The stone crusher finally started operation and feeding to the adjacent BRO mixing plant that supplies macadam to Bandipora-Gurez road last month. The State Cabinet in its decision in year 2009 approved 0.40 hectares of forest land for installation of mixing plant to be used for the macadamization of 82 kilometer Bandipora-Gurez road.

The Cabinet while leasing out the land to the BRO mixing plant had issued clear guidelines that organization should follow the norms and not pollute the fragile environment of the place. Besides this, BRO was asked not to enter into any business with any private party on the leased out land.

The land for mixing plant was leased out to BRO in Tragbal forests in the compartment Number 80-81, around 40 kilometers from Bandipora. The work on the mixing plant was started in 2010 and in 2011 it became operational.

So far the BRO has macadamized around 39 kilometers of the border road. And, meanwhile, it was facing the problem of crushed stones to its plant. The company floated by the sons of top politicians of the ruling party in-connivance with the BRO officials set up the stone crusher adjacent to the BRO leased land.

The stone crusher came up illegally on the forest land without forest clearance while the large number of Central Government funded projects are waiting for forest clearance for past several years in the State.

Only last week, Speaker of the Assembly Mohammad Akbar Lone had directed the State Government to decide about the Forest clearance to the Central Government funded and other developmental projects in the State within two months as opposition parties raised hue and cry over the issue in the Assembly.

The question about forest clearance was raised by the National Panthers Party MLA, Harshdev Singh, in the Assembly. He said that large number of projects are suffering due to lack of forest clearance. The MLA of both the ruling and opposition parties joined Singh and demanded forest clearance for the projects in their respective constituencies.

The apex court of the country has given powers to the Chief Secretary and Forest Secretary who head two empowered committees under the SC guidelines to issue Forest clearance for projects that run through forests.

But in this case the high powered committees were not informed or their clearance was not sought. The project was set up in the shadow of the BRO project to hoodwink the officials. A top BRO official told Excelsior that he has no knowledge of the stone crusher and will look into the matter.



                                            Sick unit holders demand compensation
                                                        Raise issues with CM

GK

Srinagar, Sep 8: A delegation of Federation Chamber of Sick Industries, Kashmir led by its president Manzoor Ahmad Sidiqi Friday called on Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah apprising him about their “long pending demands.” The delegation sought waiver of loan, electricity tariff and rent arrears, besides compensation for plant and machinery, which they said had got damaged due to closure of their units.

“We had to close down our units because of the presence of the security forces in the Industrial Estates,” they said, adding that the industrial estates were “converted into military camps,” a federation handout here said. “The Chief Minister gave a patient hearing to the delegation,” it said. “The CM asked Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather to look into the problems of the sick unit holders and whatever action required be taken to address their problem,” it said.

The federation also raised the issue of polythene manufacturers who according to them were rendered jobless by the ban on polythene units. “The Chief Minister assured to address the problem of polythene unit holders, besides giving them compensation,” it said. President of the federation, meanwhile, has hailed the Chief Minister “for issuing necessary directions address our problems.”

                               Govt mulls full-fledged Enforcement Wing to check power theft
                                          Major violations by more hotels, Industrial Units Detected;
                                          Rs. 10 cr. penalty imposed

DE

JAMMU, Aug 16: Continuing with its exclusive drive to unravel the blatant misuse of the electricity by high-end consumers in connivance with the officers of the Power Development Department, the recently constituted Special Enforcement Wing has detected major violations by more hotels and industrial units across the State and imposed penalty worth Rs 10 crore, which will go up considerably following detailed analysis in each and every case of inspection conducted during the past two months.

In order to make surprise inspections a regular affair, the Government is mulling to establish permanent and full-fledged Enforcement Wing in Jammu and Kashmir on the pattern of several other States in the country and a detailed proposal in this regard would be placed before the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah and then State Cabinet for approval.

Authoritative sources told EXCELSIOR that Special Enforcement Wing, which was constituted by making internal adjustments on the directions of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, has found more hotels, industrial units and other business establishments indulging in power theft by resorting to different means in connivance with the officials of the Power Development Department.

"During the past two months around 100 surprise inspections were carried out and in these cases over Rs 10 crore penalty was imposed on the spot by the Special Enforcement Wing", they said, adding "the amount of penalty would go up considerably as the Wing is analyzing each and every case of inspection in order to work out penal amount of the period since the violations were going on".

In Kashmir valley, the latest inspections were conducted in Karan Nagar, Khrew, Rangreth industrial area, Rajbagh, Boulevard, Batmaloo and Zainakote areas while as in Jammu the inspections were conducted in Bantalab, Narwal, Transport Nagar, Samba industrial estate and Katra and large number of high-end consumers were found indulging in using electricity without paying as per the actual consumption and indulging in various violations to tamper with readings on the meters, sources informed.

At Rangreth industrial area, the Special Enforcement Wing unraveled violations by Himalayan Rolling Mill, N D Gases, Boom Installation, Himalayan Paper Industry while as Hotel Hill Star at Boulevard, South Intervention Industrial Unit at Zainakote were found indulging in violations, they said, adding even cement plants at Khrew were found causing loss to the State exchequer in connivance with the officials of the Power Development Department.

In Batmaloo area, the hotels having five to 10 rooms were found having meager registered load despite the fact that their consumption was much high. Similarly, several hotels at Boulevard and medical establishments in Karan Nagar area were found indulging in violations to avoid payment of tariff as per their exact consumption, sources said.

About the inspections in Jammu, they said that out of 96 flats in Parsavnath Mass Housing Colony near Bantalab only 12 were found having legal connections. Even the streetlights and water lift pumps were found operating on illegal connections, they informed, adding "in the industrial area of Samba several major violations by some units were detected and penal action was taken on the spot. The violations were also detected in several establishments at Narwal and Transport Nagar which include Oberoi Service Station and Ajay Food Products etc".

During surprise inspection in Katra, the Special Enforcement Wing noticed violations in Katra Continental, Devi Grand, Asia Hotel, Hotel Basera, Hotel KC and Hotel Vaishnodevi, sources said.

Responding to a question, sources said that Secretary (Technical) of the Power Development Department, on the instructions of Principal Secretary, Sudhanshu Pandey, has written to all those Divisions where violations have been detected in the surprise inspections during the past two months, for necessary action and subsequent communication to him.

Meanwhile, to make surprise inspections a regular affair, the Government is mulling to establish permanent and full-fledged Enforcement Wing in Jammu and Kashmir on the pattern of several other States in the country.

"Principal Secretary of the Department is collecting information from such States and soon a detailed proposal will be placed before the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah for discussion and thereafter the matter will be taken up with the State Cabinet for final decision", sources said while informing that in adjoining state of Punjab, Inspector General of Police is heading Special Enforcement Wing and police officers of the rank of Inspector and DySPs are being deputed to the wing to deal with the offences under Electricity Act.

In several States of the country Police Stations and Courts have been designated to exclusively deal with the offences under Electricity Act, sources said while expressing surprise that despite large scale power theft and violations by high-end consumers, which is causing huge loss to the State exchequer, putting in place such a mechanism was never given any serious consideration in the past.


                                      SPCB notice to 335 defaulting industrial units

Srinagar, Aug 14: The State Pollution Control Board authorities Tuesday revealed that at least 335 industrial unites in J&K have been served legal notices on pollution control norms while 31 of them have been closed.

Giving details on the Board’s activities, the SPCB Chairman Lal Chand apprised a meeting that the Board has taken several measures to control pollution in the state. He informed that during the current year 1575 industrial units have been accorded consent by the Board. “Out of these, 548 units fall under Red and Orange category while 1027 fall under Green category. During the same period the Board has issued legal notices to 335 defaulting industrial units and ordered closured of 31 units,” he said

                                                    ‘JK has 3151 sick SSI units’
                    418 potentially viable : 330 in Valley, 88 in Jammu : Economic Report


Srinagar, Aug 9: In a major concern, 16 per cent of the industrial units in J&K have turned sick. Quoting Reserve Bank of India finding, the Economic Survey 2011-12 says that of the 19621 Small Scale Industrial (SSI) units, 3151 are sick.
The report says that some of the sick units have become non-functional due to a number of reasons like financial crunch, law and order and marketing problem. The report says the state government has accepted to provide soft loan to the extent of 30 per cent of total requirement to potentially viable sick units for their revival under its Rehabilitation Policy.
The number of potentially viable sick units, report says, has been identified to be 418— 330 in Kashmir and 88 in Jammu region. “Out of these, 66 units have been approved by State Level Rehabilitation Committee (SLRC) involving an amount of 876.3 lakh.”

“31 cases have been sanctioned and disbursed Rs 366.36 lakh soft loan by the SLRC.” Giving the break-up of units found potentially viable for revival, the report says that among the 330 sick units in Kashmir valley, 142 are in Srinagar and 73 in Islamabad (Islamabad (Anantnag0). Baramulla has 47 sick units and Pulwama 28. Kupwara has 12 units.
Out of 88 units identified for revival in Jammu region, 49 are in Jammu, 18 in Udhampur, 7 in Samba, two each in Doda and Poonch and five each in Kathua and Rajouri districts.

                                CFC for Bat Manufacturing Units set up in Islamabad
GK

Srinagar, Aug 9: Directorate of Industries and Commerce, Kashmir in collaboration with Process cum Product Development Centre (PPDC) Meerut has set up a common facility centre (CFC) for cricket bat manufacturing units at Sethar Islamabad (Anantnag) where bat clefts are being seasoned and dried within a shortest possible time.
By installation of all chambers at the CFC a record number of 20,000 clefts can be seasoned and dried within 10-15 days which otherwise would take 7-8 months. The centre will facilitate more production of cricket bats and encourage manufacturing to achieve better results.
On the occasion, Commissioner Secretary Industries and Commerce Department, Shant Manu, Director Industries and Commerce Kashmir Mehraj-ud-Din Kenu were present. Meanwhile the PPDC Meerut said the technical production run of the common facility centre has remained successful. They said the new procedure will boost cricket bat industry in the Valley and will promote its production.

It was said that the early production run was conducted only for 10 chamber and 4 boilers and now by installing more 10 chambers, CFC has made functional and all 20 chambers installed with solar system and necessary back up, DG sets, has been provided at the place.
It was also said the CFC has been made functional within less than two months on the directions of Minister for Industries and Commerce S.S.Salathia. Later, Shant Manu and Kenu paid a visit to Industrial Estate K P Road Islamabad (Anantnag) and Industrial Estate Anchdora and interacted with the entrepreneurs of both the industries.

                            J&K seeks CSIR help in aroma, herbal initiatives

Jammu and Kashmir government today sought Council of Scientific Industrial Research's support in promotion of aroma, herbal and leather industry in the state, according to a PTI report.
"We want CSIR's support in the promotion of aroma, herbal and leather industry in JK," Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told a visiting team of CSIR .The CSIR team was led by its Director General Samir K Brahmachari.

"We are looking forward for technological intervention of CSIR to enable the state utilise huge quantity of weeds produced in Dal and other lakes...Thousands of tonnes of weeds are produced in Dal and other lakes. We need a technology to convert this produce into useful products to achieve twin goals of weed disposal and generation of economy," Omar said.

He said CSIR could also help the state in promoting MSME sector in spice production and marketing."Leather is equally viable and promising sector," Omar said, adding that CSIR can provide necessary inputs to help develop leather industry in the Valley on modern lines.

"Its technological base and support is also required to strengthen the sector of Indian system of medicine," he said, adding that Unani mode of treatment with wide base in Kashmir and Ayurvedic system of treatment in Jammu can be given necessary fillip by the CSIR help.Brahmachari said CSIR would extend its full support to the state in building strong research base."CSIR will also extend support for promotion of agro-based, herbal and aroma industry...We can also provide assistance for utilising latest technology in leather goods manufacturing," he said, adding that CSIR has a special division looking after the development and promotion of Unani medicine.



                                    J&K Govt Revives Committee to Boost Industrialisation

Srinagar, July 25 (PTI) The Jammu and Kashmir government has revived a committee, headed by the state's Economic Advisor, to boost industrialisation in backward and remote areas. It will also look at issues pertaining to the holistic growth and development of industries in the state. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah approved the revival of the committee in the second meeting of Industrial Advisory Committee here yesterday, an official spokesperson said today. Addressing the meeting, the minister said his government is determined to give a boost to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector and industrial development. Incentive packages are available for industrialists venturing in the State are aimed at attracting more and more investment in the industrial sector, generating economic activities and enhancing job opportunities for skilled, semi-skilled and un-skilled local work force, he said. "While the packages and concessions available to industrialists are also meant for viability and profit of their units, these are at the same time aimed at ensuring jobs for locals in the industrial units," he said. Abdullah emphasised on active involvement of private industry in the Skill Development Programme being implemented for enhancing employability of youth. He asked industrialists to tie up with state-run ITIs and polytechnics and partner in the process of imparting training to youth in skills required in various industrial disciplines. "This would enable the industrialists to get required skilled work force easily from among locals and in turn expand job opportunities for them," he added.

The minister said there are ample number of ITIs across the state and every district has a polytechnic institute. "The industrialists should identify ITI or Polytechnic to impart training required in their particular area of industrial activity to youth," he said, adding that the government was ready to tie up with industrialists in this regard actively. The spokesman said various issues were discussed regarding welfare and growth of industrial sector in the state. These included matters pertaining to industrial policy, labour issues, transport subsidy, interest subsidy, industrial incentives, extension of the Government of India package of incentives, VAT refunding, reviewing of custom duty structure on copper and issues relating power sector. Issues relating to forest and pollution control, creation of industrial infrastructure, marketing support to industries were also discussed, among other things, the spokesman said. A Grievance Redressal Committee has also been constituted by the Finance Department to look into grievances of the industrialists and suggest measures to address these, the spokesman said.


                                              State to have own law on GST
                                    Cabinet Approves Sub-Committee Report



Srinagar, Aug 1: The State Cabinet Wednesday approved a Cabinet Sub-committee report on state’s response to proposed central legislation for replacement of existing Sales Tax and VAT system by Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime, while underlying that the J&K Government would come up with its own law on the matter. Sources told Greater Kashmir that the report of the 4-member committee headed by Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather was approved by the Cabinet which met here under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

The Government of India had sought opinion from JK Government along with other states on the implementation of the GST regime. In February this year, the Empowered Committee (EC) of Finance Ministers from all the states gave a nod to the introduction of the constitutional amendment Bill which would pave way for introduction of the regime.
However J&K Finance Minister sounded a caution to the EC that implementation of CGST (Central Goods & Services Tax) in JK has to be carried out on the terms of the state keeping in view the special status enjoyed by it under the Indian Constitution. A senior minister said the J&K Government would decide for itself how the new regime is to be implemented in JK.

“The state will come up with its own law for implementation of the Goods and Service Tax regime,” said the minister. “We cannot directly implement Central GST which will tamper the special powers enjoyed by the state.” The minister said once the state comes up with its own law, it would empower the government to allow bringing under purview of CGST only those goods and services which they approve for.

A senior official said the proposed GST regime envisages subsuming all other taxes like excise duties, additional duties of excise, sales tax, VAT and Central Sales Tax into a uniform tax structure.

                                                       Pharma unit operating illegally
EC
JAMMU, Aug 5: Even though the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) is ill-equipped to monitor the most harmful emissions and affluents being released by nearly 100 highly polluted chemicals, pharmaceuticals and pesticide units at Bari Brahmana, Kathua and Samba in the absence of Gas Chromatograph (GC), the District Administration has served a closer notice on ‘main culprit’ Indo Swift Pvt Ltd, a bulk drugs manufacturing unit at SIDCO complex Samba, whose effluents allegedly resulted into the killing of half a dozen buffaloes three days back.
District Magistrate Samba, Mubarak Singh said that as per the information gathered, this unit was illegally operating. It had consent to operate (Renewal) from the State Pollution Control Board authorities up to June 2011 only. Now, how this unit was being allowed to operate is yet to be ascertained. Mr Singh said he received a copy of preliminary report from PCB and it has been indicated that this bulk drugs manufacturing unit and the Lab have been put in the Red Category which showed that they are highly polluting units.
It has been learnt that this unit’s Effluent Treatment Plant was not functioning for the last some time. Even yesterday, when the PCB team visited the premises, the ETP was not functional. It means the highly polluted water from this unit was being allowed to release out to the drains and then to nallah and finally, in river Basantar, without being treated, which is a criminal offence. The poor animals consumed water and half a dozen of them died. Many of them fell ill and were treated by the Veterinary doctors. Had the administration delayed the rescue operation, the casualty could have gone much higher, Mr Singh maintained.
Chairman, State Pollution Control Board Lal Chand when contacted said that Indo Swift unit at Samba was served notices twice in the past for not fulfilling the required conditions. It had recently applied for the consent to operate but it was not accorded.
Replying to another question, the Chairman confessed that SPCB was not fully equipped and sends some samples outside for which it has not equipment. The CPCB has recognized some labs and the unit holders obtain Self Monitoring Reports.


                                              SIDCO nominated as Mission Directorate
                                                for Food Processing Industry : Slathia

Excelsior

SRINAGAR, June 26 : The 132nd meeting of Board of Directors of SIDCO was held under the chairmanship of S. S. Slathia, Minister for Industries and Commerce here today.

The Board reviewed the progress on various industrial infrastructure projects undertaken by the SIDCO. The progress on development works of the new industrial estates of Ghathi, Kathua and Budgam and Ompora were also reviewed. The Board was informed that in view of the changed industrial scenario, resources profile of State and to rejunevate industrial activities within the State, Vision document 2025 was proposed to be prepared by the SIDCO. The vision document will include conceptualization, identification and promotion of SSI and major projects in the State in tandem with various incentives / schemes offered by the Union Government in the liberalized economic environment.

The Board was also informed that SIDCO had been nominated as Mission Directorate by the State Government as well as Union Ministry of Food Processing for implementation of the various financial assistance schemes under the Food Processing Mission. This would give a boost to the promotion of food processing industries in the State.

Managing Director SIDCO informed the Board that the Corporation had earmarked about 150 kanals of land at upcoming Industrial Estates Ompora for establishment of an Information Technology unit to be set up by the J&K e-governance agency in association with SIDCO. The Board was also informed that IT related industrial shed in IT Park Rangreth had been utilized fully and a number of IT units were functioning in the park.

Mr. Slathia emphasized on the judicious land use plan in the Industrial Estates of the state due to the scarcity of land. It was decided that modular industrial flats will be constructed in various Industrial Estates .

Mr. Slathia issued instructions for immediate retrieval of un utilized allotted land so that the same can be offered to prospective entrepreneurs being in queue for allotment of land.The Commissioner/ Secretary to Government, Industries and Commerce, Shantmanu, Director, Industries and Commerce, Kashmir, Miraj-ud-Din Kenu, Director, Industries and Commerce, Jammu, B S Dua, Managing Director SIDCO, M. Muazzam, President, Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Jammu, Y. V. Sharma, President, Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Kashmir, Zahoor Ahmad Bhat, President Kashmir Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Ab. Hamid Punjabi and concerned officers of SIDCO were also present in the meeting.


                            850 highly Polluting Units Still Functional in J&K, PCB Sleeping



Jammu, June 22,2012 (TNI):
Pollution Control Board (PCB) has put nearly 850 running industries units in Jammu and Kashmir under Red and Orange category adding pollution in the atmosphere every second.

According to the sources 390 industries units under Red category and about 460 under Orange are functioning across the state without adequate pollution preventing devices as fixed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) guidelines.

Sources disclosed that only few units have installed such devices while the remaining industries violating the guidelines and run their units without it. It is pertinent to mention here that under the CPCB guidelines industrial units are categorized under Red, Orange and Green as per the level of pollution they emit in air, water and on ground. As per the guidelines units falling under Red and Orange category have to install special anti-pollution devices and set up treatment plants before disposing off their effluents from their industries.

Under the central guidelines before granting consent by the government to Orange and Red category industries include installation of required pollution control devices and measures to ensure the discharge of effluents emissions of water, air under permissible limits as prescribed by the Ministry of Environment and Forest under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981 and Environment Protection Act 1986.

According to the scientists monitoring the pollution level in Jammu daily, The SPM whose normal limit should be 100 micrograms is between 110-114 micrograms at almost all places while the RSPM (normal limit around 200 micrograms) is a around 220 to 230 micrograms, making the air at most places around the industrial units unsuitable for breathing. However, Regional Director PCD, Jammu Showkat Ahmed Choudhary avoided to comment on the said issue.




                                      PCB in Deep Slumber as Thick Smoke Clouds from Factory                                       Pollute Air in Picturesque Bhaderwah

ET

JAMMU, June 23: Notwithstanding the directive of House Panel on Environment (HPE) to preserve the environment of tourist resorts in the state, air pollution continues to influence the atmosphere and daily lives of people in the mountain-locked Bhaderwah valley as a factory continues to pump smoke clouds into the sky.

Locals feel that the factory discharges dirty and dangerous smokes and fumes into the atmosphere. "We simply cannot ignore this potential threat called pollution," they asserted. The industrial unit -- Cedarwood Oil Factory -- is situated on Jai road and close to the gupt Ganga in the heart of town. "At times, due to the smoke emanating from the factory, we feel it hard to breathe," Mohammad Ramzan said. He said the matter had time and again been brought by them to the notice of the authorities concerned but an action was yet awaited.
Mushtaq felt that the factory ought to have been set up on the outskirts of the town as the smoke billowing from it was polluting air in Bhaderwah which was full of tourists nowadays.

J&K pollution control board (PCB) chairman Lal Chand said he would examine into the matter and if required, action under law would be initiated. "In such cases, notice is served upon the polluter to explain his position. If he does not satisfy PCB, or fails to reply within the stipulated period, the department can order the closure of the unit," he added.

In reply to a query, Chand said the PCB was faced with the shortage of staff as it did not have employees as per the sanctioned strength. On Thursday last, the HPE had met in Srinagar under the chairmanship of MLA M Y Tarigami and sought strong measures for preserving the environment of the state, especially the tourist resorts.

The meeting had stressed that the officials should take requisite steps to check pollution due to factories and all other means in tourist areas and other parts of the state.


                                       Medicinal plants that can win JK a fortune

Early Times
Jammu, June 18: Some of the most needed medicinal plants grow in Jammu Kashmir. However, unfortunately the government has been ignoring these resources for unknown reasons. Experts believe the plants can win the state quite a big fortune.
A plant commonly called as Soungul/Pooes-Tul (Taxus Baccata) collected by Dr Bashir is believed to yield some alkaloids that are used as anti-cancer drugs in the world of ailments. The plant needs to be studied seriously.
Vanwangan (Podophyllum Emodi) is found growing all over Kashmir from 6000-10000, especially in Fir forests of Gulmarg and Gurez valley. The root of the plant yields Podophyllum resin, which is very popular in modern medicine. It is a powerful purgative and its action somewhat corresponds to that of mercury, hence it is named Vegetable Calomel.
Dr Chopra of the Calcutta School of tropical Medicine comments on the Kashmir plant. "The resin obtained from the specimen sent from Kashmir generally looks somewhat different from that of the imported drug, but physiologically it is quite as effective. The percentage of resin obtainable from Kashmir rhizome is 10 to 12 percent as compared to the foreign varieties, which contain only 3 to 4 percent. The rhizome analyzed is of excellent quality and the possibilities of manufacture of the resin on commercial scale would be considering." Dr Chopra made these observations in 1928. SN Kaul in his book Forest Products of Jammu Kashmir writes, "The drug was in great demand some time ago and large quantities were put into the market which resulted in considerable reduction in price. Kashmir has been exporting large quantities of the drug to England. The drug is so plentiful in Kashmir that the total demand of the market can be met from Kashmir alone."
Another important plant is Kuth (Saussurea Lappa). The Sanskrit name of Kuth is Kashmirja, which means "produced in Kashmir". Even today its growth is limited to Kashmir.
Kuth is used as an aromatic, stimulant, as a medicine for cough, asthma, fever, dyspepsia and skin diseases. It is also used in stimulating mixtures for Cholera and prescribed as a stomachic, tonic, for ulcers and in rheumatism. It is also used as a depurative and aphrodisiac.
According to Kaul, Kuth is a plant of great economic value. Stewart in his book on Punjab plants published in 1864 states that in the year 1837, 7000 Maunds of Kuth were exported via Calcutta to China.
The government has banned unauthorized possession of Kuth for obvious reasons. However, experts suggest extraction and export of the drug on a large scale for economic upliftment of the state.

   
                                             Punjab industrialist’s premises raided
                                         CBI raids at 4 places in Rs 2 cr PNB scam

Excelsior

JAMMU, June 16: The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) conducted simultaneous raids at four places in Jammu and Jalandhar after unearthing about Rs 2 crore worth scam in Punjab National Bank (PNB) committed by an industrialist along with his associates and unnamed officers of the Bank and Revenue Department of the State.Official sources said the CBI teams conducted raids in the industrial and residential complexes of Ravi Kumar, Proprietor of M/s SL Rubber Industries, Industrial Growth Centre (IGC) Samba and Krishan Kumar Sharma of Gangyal and recovered some important documents pertaining to the scam.

A number of Revenue Department and PNB officers were also involved in the scam and efforts were on to identify them, sources said, adding that a Regular Case No. 6/2-12 under Section 120-B read with 420, 468, 471 RPC read with 5(1) (D) of Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against the accused.In addition to Ravi Kumar, an industrialist from Jalandhar, Punjab, presently running SL Rubber Industries at Industrial Growth Centre, Samba and Krishan Kumar Sharma of Gangyal, the unnamed officers of PNB and Revenue Department have also been named in the FIR.

Sources said Ravi Kumar had secured Rs 1.60 crore worth loan from PNB's Rehari Chowk branch, which has subsequently gone up to Rs 1.75 crore, for SL Rubber Industries with the guarantee of Krishan Kumar Sharma by producing fake mortgage documents of non-existing property.The fake documents of non-existent property at Chowadian had been prepared by the accused with the connivance of Revenue Department officials. The PNB officials, who were then at the helm of affairs, didn't examine the documents and the property on spot and released loan in favour of the industrialist.

Soon the loan turned Non Performing Asset (NPA) causing heavy loss to the PNB.When the Bank officials went to seize mortgaged property, they found that it didn't exist on record. The Revenue officials had tampered with the record and prepared fake documents of the property for mortgage, sources said.

After registering a regular case in about Rs 2 crore worth scam, the CBI officials conducted simultaneous search in the industrial and residential complexes of Ravi Kumar at SL Rubber Industries, Industrial Growth Centre, Samba, Jalandhar and Gangyal residence of Krishan Kumar Sharma.

During searches, the CBI officials recovered some documents pertaining to the scam, sources said and added that the documents were being scrutinized by the CBI team headed by Inspector Lalit Kumar under the supervision of SP CBI Jammu Armandeep Singh.They said the CBI was examining record of the Bank and other seized documents to ascertain identity of the Revenue officers, who had prepared fake documents for the industrialist of non-existent land, which had been mortgaged in favour of the Bank.

The PNB officials, who were at the helm of affairs at the time of sanction of such a big loan, were in the process of identification and would be quizzed to know whether they had deliberately ignored the mortgaged of non-existent land or it happened due to an error.Sources said the industrialist and his guarantor have also been summoned for questioning.


                                                    JK to get 18 New Industrial Estates
                                                    Slathia Lays Foundation of IE Malwan

GK

Malwan (Kulgam) June 14: In what would help generate employment avenues in far flung areas, Minister for Industries and Commerce S.S Slathia today said 18 new industrial estates would be set in the state, nine each in Kashmir and Jammu divisions.

The estates in the Valley shall come up at Nudbagh-Khonmoh, Mehmood Abad Dooru, Waripora Tangmarg, Takia Razak Shah Tral, Kunanposhpora Kupwara, Barpora Shopian, Government Match-Factory Baramulla and Danibal Ganderbal in Kashmir.

The Minister was addressing a public gathering after laying foundation stone of an industrial estate at Malwan-Noorabad, a remote area in district Kulgam today.The Industrial Estate, initially estimated to cost Rs 2 crore, will be spreading over an area of 60 kanals with a capacity to house 100 industrial units, an official statement said.

The focus will be to develop the estate for promotion of food processing industries as the area is apple rich and produces walnuts, cherry etc in abundance. The SICOP will be the implementing agency.

Slathia said the estate will generate economic activities in the remote area and enjoined upon the youth to venture in the industrial sector in a big way. He said the state has one of the best industrial policies in the country offering attractive packages and incentives to the entrepreneurs.


                                               BBIA resents un-scheduled power cuts

Excelsior

JAMMU, June 4: Bari Brahmana Industrial Association (BBIA) has expressed strong resentment against unscheduled power cuts in the entire industrial area for the last several weeks.

In a meeting of the Association held here today under the chairmanship of Annil Suri, its president, the speakers discussed the deteriorating power supply position to the Industry in Bari Brahmana area. The members strongly flayed the PDD authorities and said that nobody appears to be accountable for it in the entire department from top to bottom despite the fact that Chief Minister himself is holding its charge.

Mr Suri said that industrialists are facing huge financial losses due to long power cuts and the department is not taking this issue seriously. The production in the units is badly hit with erratic power cuts. He said the matter was also discussed with the Chief Engineer M&RE Jammu several times but no action has been taken in this regard. Even the suggestions of the BBIA have been turned down by the department concerned. Birpur and other areas also facing the similar problem, he said.

The BBIA members said that Bari Brahmana Industrial area is contributing over Rs 100 crore towards power bills but department hardly spends 1 % of it on maintenance or augmentation. They sought the intervention of Chief Minister in this regard and demanded that power supply position be improved.



                                         Factory workers protest against management

Excelsior

SAMBA, June 4: The workers of Cadila Pharmaceuticals in Samba industrial area held massive protest demonstration against the management of the unit here today.

Nearly 150 workers of the factory including women assembled at the main gate of the factory and held protest demonstration. They were shouting slogans against the management of the unit, owned by investors from outside the State. The workers closed the gate and not allowed any worker to move inside in the morning.

The management of the unit tried to convince them but the irate workers were in no mood to listen today. They alleged that they were facing victimization and harassment at the hands of some people in the security and management. The women workers alleged that they were facing sexual harassment at the unit. While leaving the factory, every worker is placed to frisking.

Even the women factory workers are made to go through the frisking at the hands of male security staff. They alleged that several times, they requested the management to deploy women security staff for lady workers as they were facing sexual harassment, but the authorities at the helm of affairs never bothered. Even some people in the management were teasing women workers and exploiting them, they alleged.

The police was also called by the factory management but it avoided to intervene and remained mute spectator. A few cops led by an officer moved inside factory and then came out after some time, without bothering to listen to the harassed factory workers. After holding protest for about two hours, some senior people in the management tried to intervene and assured that their demands will be considered. The protest was then suspended. The workers have sought intervention of DC Samba in this regard.



The state cabinet approved upgradation of infrastructural facilities at Industrial Estate Gangyal, Jammu and Bari Brahamana, Samba at an estimated cost of Rs. 9.84 crores and Rs. 11.08 crores respectively.

                              BBIA Criticises PDD for Unscheduled Power Cuts

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 14, 2012: Bari Brahmana Industries Association (BBIA) has strongly criticized the Power Development Department authorities for imposing unscheduled power cuts for the last over fifteen days.

In a meeting of the BBIA held here today under the chairmanship of Anil Suri, president of the Association, the members discussed the deteriorating power supply situation in SIDCO Industrial Complex Bari Brahmana for the last over a fortnight. They strongly flayed the working of the PDD where nobody is accountable for repeated power failures in the Industrial area. They said that Department was not taking the issue seriously due to which the industrialists are facing huge financial losses and frequent machinery breakdowns.

They said the PDD authorities responsible for the supply, maintenance and up keep of power infrastructure in the industrial complex should be held accountable for repeated power breakdowns. The Association issued appeal to the Chief Minister to intervene into the matter and issue necessary orders to restore the power supply to industrial sector without any power cut.



                                State witness Rs 3513 Cr industrial investment: Slathia
Friday, 23 Mar 2012

JAMMU, MARCH 22-J&K State has sought 10 years extension in the package of incentives sanctioned by the centre in June 2002 including exemptions on Income Tax, refund of Central Excise Incentives. The package is scheduled to expire in June 2012.

Announcing this in the Legislative Assembly today while replying to the debate on demands of grants for the Industries, Commerce and allied departments for next fiscal, S S Slathia said that GoI has announced package of incentives in June 2002 which was to remain valid for a period of 10 years till 2012.

He said due to efforts of the state government, the existing level of Central Excise Duty Refund based on value addition has been extended till 2020. “This excise refund is khasra neutral and also given to existing industrial units which undertake substantial expansion,” Slathia added.
The Minister said that the state has witnessed local investment in the industrial sector worth Rs. 2572.40 crore with employment to about 48000 persons so far whereas the non-local investment has been to the tune of Rs 941.65 crore providing employment to about 15000 persons. He said during the current fiscal about 868 new Micro and Small Enterprises have been registered in the state with an investment of Rs 262.26 crore with employment to 6208 persons.

This includes 272 units with an involvement of Rs 184.08 crore in Jammu division. He said 8 units with an investment of Rs 706 crore have come up in the large and medium industries sector during the current financial year in the state which has provided employment to 1900 persons adding that state of art Sanant Ghar at a cost of Rs. 27.21 crore is coming up at Srinagar for facilitation of the entrepreneurs.

2 mega food parks in Sgr, Jmu in offing

Slathia said that GoI has sanctioned an integrated textile park costing Rs 48 crore to be set up at Govindsar Kathua over about 200 kanals of land adding that an investment of Rs 200 crores is expected to be made in the park by the members of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with a direct employment avenues for 2500 person and indirect employment for 4000 persons. In addition GoI has been approached to sanction two mega food parks one in Industrial Growth Centre (IGS) at Lassipora in Kashmir and one in Ghatti Kathua in Jammu.

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India would provide a grant of Rs 50 crore for each park with a direct investment of Rs. 100 crores in each mega food park. The Minister said it is for the first time that, a whooping sum of Rs 100 crores as incentives under Central and State packages have been distributed among the units holders in the state during the present dispensation.

More Industrial Estates for J&K


He said more industrial estates would be set up in various parts of the state to give boost to Industrial sector in a big way. These include Industrial Estates at Nudbagh (Khunmoh) Proprietary land adjacent to Phase-III Khunmoh, Shestaragam Mahmoodabad (Doru), Waripoora (Tangmarg), Takia Razakshah (Tral), Kunan Poshpora(Kupwara), Malwan (Kulgam), Barpora (Shopian), Govt. Match Factory (Baramulla), Danibal (Ganderbal) IGC, Samba Phase-III. Lamberi(Rajouri), Surankote (Poonch), Beoli (Doda), Nimbla(Reasi), Dambra (Billawar), Majalta (Udhampur), Hiranagar (Chak Bulanda) Kathua and Silk Cluster Thanda Pani(Rajouri). He said the Industrial Estates Chotipora, Handwara has been completed and handed over to Director, Industries Kashmir at a project cost of Rs.3.48 over 105 kanals. The Estate was hanging fire for the last 27 years was completed in record time of 11 months.

Handicrafts good worth Rs 441.41 Cr. exported in 2011-12

Referring to the achievements of handicrafts, the Minister said the record production of 1390.50 crores (ending January) has been achieved against the total achievement of 1650.30 crores during 2010-11.
He said during 2011-12 handicrafts goods worth Rs 441.24 crores have been exported and it is expected that a target of 1100 crores will be achieved by the end of current financial year. He said the rate of stipend in favour of trainees has been enhanced from Rs 100 to Rs 500 in respect of elementary training course and Rs 200 to Rs 700 in respect of advance training course to motivate unemployed youth towards handicrafts.
He said loan ceiling under Handicraft Micro Enterprises Scheme has been enhanced from Rs. 0.50 lacs to Rs 1.00 lacs adding that the Interest subvention has been enhanced from 5% to 10%. The Award Money for State Award to Handicraft Artisans / Craftsmen has been enhanced from Rs. 0.15 lac to Rs.0.50 lac.
As regards the supply of Looms, the SICOP is in the process of manufacturing 2000 Modern Carpet Looms. Payment of Rs 3.20 crore has been sanctioned by GOI initially and the balance shall be released subsequently for 8000 Looms (2000 + 6000) under P.M’s package (Mega Carpet Cluster).

He said 10,000 artisans are being covered under skill upgradation. Component of the mega carpet cluster over a period of 5 years besides, Carpet Production Centres are being established in District Bandipora, Anantnag, Kulgam and Budgam by IICT Srinagar for the benefit of carpet artisans on the recommendations of Expert Group on Employment in Jammu & Kashmir.

60KDL plant for hide processing at Lassipora

Giving details about promotions of leather industry in the State, the Minister said that Kashmir valley generates 1.8 million hides per year majority of these are transported to various parts of the country for processing and finishing.

He said the I&C department has commissioned a 60 KLD plant at Lassipora Pulwama, Kashmir for Treating Effluent from leather processing units. Now a major portion of hides exported from Kashmir would be processed and finished in Lassipora because of the CETP facility. After convincing reply of the Minister to various quarries, the members withdrew their cut motions and the house unanimously passed grants amounting to Rs. 338.33 crore in favour of Industries and allied departments with voice vote.

He said Under Handicraft Micro enterprises Scheme (Credit Plan) 922 beneficiaries have availed loan facilities from different banks involving credit of Rs. 521,44 lacs and an amount of Rs. 61.00 lacs has been paid as interest subsidy to the beneficiaries covered under the scheme.

About JKML, the Minister said that the corporation has paid an amount of Rs 2.21 crores as terminal benefits to 156 employees who have retired from April 1999 to May 2006 out of its own resources.
Slathia said that a JVC company had been floated between National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and JKML under the name and style of J&K Mineral Development Corporation ltd. with an equity ratio of 74:26 respectively, for extraction of Raw Magnesite from Panthal, Reasi and establishment of DBM Plant there. As per the detailed survey, reserves of Magnesite to the tune of 2.7 Million Tonnes have been established. The project after remaining dormant for more than 20 years has now been revived, all requisite formalities to bring the project with the cost of Rs. 150 crores have been completed. Necessary work for project shall be started shortly after it is cleared in the court of law. The project shall provide wide employment opportunities (both Direct & Indirect) to local inhabitants, he said adding that in a significant achievement, the corporation extracted unique Crystal Sapphire of 63.60 gms which is estimated to value Rs. 5 crore.

Common Facility Center for bats

Saying the Kashmir produces world’s best quality willow, Slathia said the common facility centre CFC Sethar has been set up under the Cluster Development Programme of the Government of India for faster production of cricket bats by way of seasoning. It has been set up in collaboration with process cum product development centre (PPDC) Meerut. It has 20 seasoning chambers and eight boilers. An expenditure of Rs. 457.34 lacs has been incurred on the project.

                                     IT exemption to industry ending on Mar 31
                                              Centre indecisive on extension

Smaller Default Larger

Srinagar, Mar 22: Even as the 10-year Income Tax holiday announced in 2002 for Industrial Sector in Jammu and Kashmir is coming to end on March 31, the central government is indecisive about its further extension. According to sources the state government, which had taken up the issue with the centre earlier, was expecting an announcement on its extension in the recently passed union budget. However, Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee who presented the budget on Friday did not make any mention about the extension dashing the hopes of local entrepreneurs.

Former President, Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Shakeel Qalandar said: “It is unfortunate that the Centre government has not extended the income tax exemption to industrial sector in the state. We were hopeful that the exemption will continue for few more years as our industrial sector is yet to recover.”

Qalandar who was also a member of Prime Minister’s Special Task Force, which had recommended IT holiday for industry sector in some states including Jammu and Kashmir, said: “That time we suggested the centre to give special incentives to industries and it was on the recommendations of that task force that the government announced a ten-year special IT exemption for the industry from 2002,” Qalandar said. He said the exemption needed to be continued for at least next ten years in order to help revive the industry sector in J&K.

President Federation of Commerce and Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Zahoor Ahmad expressed his concern over non-extension of the IT exemption to the industry. “The IT exemption to the industry is a must so as to help it grow and strengthen. The central government should immediately announce extension of this exemption,” he suggested. He said there were many other incentives provided by the central government under the scheme which will evaporate once it comes to an end on March 31. “Central investment subsidy, reimbursement of insurance and many other incentives being provided by the centre government shall come to an end with the phasing out of the scheme,” Zahoor said, adding that if the centre government would not extend the tax holiday it would have adverse impact on the industrial sector in J&K.

Zahoor said: “We have already raised the issue with the state government as we can’t directly approach the centre government. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has assured us that he will take the matter with the centre authorities. We hope the government will take necessary steps in earnest so that the package is not discontinued after March 31.”

Pertinently, under the existing dispensation, the amount of deduction in case of industrial undertaking in an industrially backward state including J&K is 100 percent of the profits and gains derived from such industrial undertakings for five assessment years beginning with the initial assessment year and thereafter, 25 percent (or 30 percent where the assesses is a company) of the profits and gains derived from such industrial undertakings. However, deduction is subject to the fulfilment of the condition that it has begun to manufacture during the period ending March 2005 for undertakings set up in J&K.

However, such deduction in this state is not available in case the undertaking manufacturers or produces any article or thing specified in part C of the 13th schedule of the said Act. The items are (1) cigarettes/cigar of tobacco, manufactured tobacco and substitutes (2) distilled /brewed alcoholic drinks (3) aerated branded beverages and their concentrates.


 

                                            Two mega food parks in offing
                           10 yrs extension in package of incentives sought from GoI: Slathia

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 22: J&K has sought 10 years extension in the package of incentives sanctioned by the Centre in June 2002 including exemptions on Income Tax, refund of Central Excise Incentives. The package is scheduled to expire in June 2012.

Announcing this in the Legislative Assembly today while replying to the debate on demands of grants for the Industries, Commerce and allied departments for next fiscal, S. S. Slathia said that Centre had announced package of incentives in June 2002 which was to remain valid for a period of 10 years till 2012. He said due to efforts of the State Government, the existing level of Central Excise Duty Refund based on value addition has been extended till 2020. "This excise refund is khasra neutral and also given to existing industrial units which undertake substantial expansion", Mr. Slathia added.

The Minister said that the state has witnessed local investment in the industrial sector worth ` 2572.40 crore with employment to about 48000 persons so far whereas the non-local investment has been to the tune of ` 941.65 crore providing employment to about 15000 persons. He said during the current fiscal about 868 new Micro and Small Enterprises have been registered in the State with an investment of ` 262.26 crore with employment to 6208 persons. This includes 272 units with an involvement of ` 184.08 crore in Jammu division. He said 8 units with an investment of ` 706 crore have come up in the large and medium industries sector during the current financial year in the State which has provided employment to 1900 persons, adding that State of art Sanant Ghar at a cost of ` 27.21 crore is coming up at Srinagar for facilitation of the entrepreneurs.

Mr. Slathia said that Centre has sanctioned an integrated textile park costing ` 48 crore to be set up at Govindsar Kathua over about 200 kanals of land, adding that an investment of ` 200 crores is expected to be made in the park by the members of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with a direct employment avenues for 2500 person and indirect employment for 4000 persons. In addition Centre has been approached to sanction two mega food parks one in Industrial Growth Centre (IGC) at Lassipora in Kashmir and one in Ghatti Kathua in Jammu.

He said more industrial estates would be set up in various parts of the State to give boost to Industrial sector in a big way.

These include Industrial Estates at Nudbagh (Khunmoh) proprietary land adjacent to Phase-III Khunmoh, Shestaragam Mahmoodabad (Doru), Waripoora (Tangmarg), Takia Razakshah (Tral), Kunan Poshpora(Kupwara), Malwan (Kulgam), Barpora (Shopian), Govt. Match Factory (Baramulla), Danibal (Ganderbal) IGC, Samba Phase-III. Lamberi(Rajouri), Surankote (Poonch), Beoli (Doda), Nimbla(Reasi), Dambra (Billawar), Majalta (Udhampur), Hiranagar (Chak Bulanda) Kathua and Silk Cluster Thanda Pani(Rajouri).

About JKML, the Minister said that the corporation has paid an amount of ` 2.21 crore as terminal benefits to 156 employees who have retired from April 1999 to May 2006 out of its own resources.

Mr. Slathia said that a JVC company had been floated between National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and JKML under the name and style of J&K Mineral Development Corporation Ltd. with an equity ratio of 74:26 respectively, for extraction of Raw Magnesite from Panthal, Reasi and establishment of DBM Plant there.

He said in order to cater to the demand of Jammu province, the Company is in the process of setting up 300 tons per day capacity Clinker Grinding cum packing unit at Industrial Growth Centre, Samba, Jammu for which it has already taken the possession of 20 kanals of land on lease basis from J&K State Industrial Development Corporation (SIDCO) for installing of 300 TPD clinker grinding unit at Samba at a premium of ` 12.58 lakh.

As many as 23 members participated in the discussion on the Grants. The members included Ch. Zulfikar Hussain, Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, Mir Saifullah, Ashok Kumar, A R Veeri, Ashok Khajuria, Harshdev Singh, Ch. Mohammad Ramzan, Er. Abdul Rashid, Ashwani Kumar Sharma, Krishan Chander Bhagat, M Y Tarigami, Yashpal Kundal, Dr. Mohammad Shafi Wani, Jugal Kishore, Prof. Gharu Ram Bhagat, Peer Afaq Hussain, Bimla Luthra, Abdul Majid Wani, Abdul Haq Khan, B S Mankotia, Mrs. Indu Pawar and Haji Mohammad Ashraf.




                              9124 industrial proposals received, land allotted to only 841

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: The quantum of support accorded to the investors in the industrial sector in J&K after announcement of new Industrial Policy in 2004, can well be gauged from the fact that out of 9124 proposals of small scale units received in Jammu, only 841 units were allotted land.

These revelations came to the fore in the Upper House after a question was raised by NC member Vijay Bakaya today. He pointed out that despite efforts of the State Government no much encouragement has been witnessed to this sector as the figures suggest.

Minister in charge Surjit Singh Slathia while replying said that 9124 proposals of small scale units were received in Jammu while 13911 in Kashmir region. An investment of ` 7768 crores was proposed for Jammu while ` 479.67 crores in Kashmir. Out of these, 3334 units were approved in Jammu while and only 841 were allotted land. In Kashmir 7463 proposals were approved and land was allotted to nearly 1041 small scale units.

He said 66 proposals of large and medium units were received and 48 were approved and all of them were allotted land. An investment of ` 2987 crores was proposed. Responding to another question, Slathia said 113 proposals of SSUs were pending for want of land in Jammu and 18 large and medium. In Kashmir only 39 proposals were pending for want of land.

Mr Bakaya said as per figures pending proposals should be more than 2500 but it is strange that only 113 have been shown by the department in reply. It means the others have been discouraged and must have diverted to other places. He said why there was so long pendancy. Mr Ajay Kumar Sadhotra said many units in Samba have almost closed down. Was there any proposal to cancel such units and provide premises/ land to others. Sheikh Gulam Rasool asked whether was there any proposal to establish units away from urban areas where land is easily available. The minister said that the unit holders have not abandoned but they have lowered their production. Such proposal is already there in case they wind up. He said several rural areas have been taken up for establishment of industry.


                          Industrial growth in Jammu and Kashmir- still a distant dream


Bashir Assad
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Mar 2: Jammu and Kashmir state is yet to come out from the quagmire of industrial backwardness due to the fact that the industrial sector has not received much attention from the government not to speak of making it a priority sector for poverty elevation and employment generation.

The composite industrial policy presently in vogue in the state of Jammu and Kashmir was approved by PDP led coalition government on 23rd of January, 2004 . It was decided in the cabinet approval that no change would be made to the policy till 31st of March 2015 in the interest of giving stability to it. Before and after this industrial policy some 2500 crores were invested in the state in Industrial sector till 2008, however, with the partial withdrawal of Central Excise Exemption in 2008, the state industrial policy has suffered a huge setback and the industrial growth has almost come to grinding halt. The Economic Survey 2011-2012 presented in the state assembly on Thursday (March 1) has admitted that the state was still reeling under the quagmire of industrial backwardness. The primary, cause according to the industrialists, is the partial withdrawal of Central Excise Exemption Package in 2008, and abandoning the industrial policy 2004 or modifying it.

"During the previous coalition regime, some serious multidirectional efforts were made to revive the sick and non-functional units on one hand and on the other hand attractive incentives were given to medium and large industries including 100% subsidy on purchase of new Diesel Generating sets, 100% subsidy on project report and quality testing equipment, 75% subsidy on Research and development, special incentives for brand promotion and modernization, land and power on concessional rates under state package while under central package 15% subsidy on capital investment on plant and machinery, 3% subsidy on working capital , 100% insurance cover to industrial units and 90% transport subsidy. However, what was even more attractive was the 100% excise exemption and 100% income tax exemption but due to partial withdrawal of the excise exemption, industrial growth has come to a grinding halt' said Tejwant Singh Reen, President Gangyal Industries Association.

The primary objectives of the Industrial Policy 2004 was to achieve sustainable industrial development in all regions for increasing the rate of growth, value of output, employment, income and overall economic development of the State; to strive towards balanced economic and social development in all regions of the State by promoting industrialization particularly of the industrially backwards areas; to encourage and sustain the cottage and tiny industrial sector which, with law investment, is able to provide employment to a large number of people in the state; to create a supportive environment with transparency and easy access in information, technology and financial resources; to revive potentially viable sick industrial units so as to put to optimum use the capital and other resources already employed in such enterprises; to promote the growth of thrust and export-oriented industries and encourage high-tech and knowledgeable based industries including information technology; to take necessary steps in the field of Human Resources Development to make available skilled/technical manpower as per the needs of industry.

Although, with all its lacunas ( especially the one that outside investors took full advantage of the policy) , the policy was moving in the right direction till 2008, however, due to inaptitude of the state industries department, it has failed to achieve any of the above objectives and instead has been instrumental to bread inequalities to opportunities and imbalanced industrial development in the state.Moreover, the department of industries and commerce in the state, in gross violation of the provisions of the policy, has unilaterally increased the rates for premium and rent of land during the currency of the policy.

Where as Prime Minister's Task Force on MSMEs has recommended several recommendations on various issues confronting MSME growth in the state in order to enhance the J&K package and bring it at par with the modified NEIIPP of NER for MSMEs and has been approved by the Prime Minister. Whereas orders for some of the approved provisions have been issued by the respective central government departments, orders for some other provisions are awaited. The location bar and other riders have also been recommended to be removed from the central package.

According to informed sources the union finance ministry has issued orders regarding grant of extension in the Excise/ Income Tax exemption (which was due to expire on March 31, 2012) for a further period of 10 years till 2020 but the state government has not so for received any intimation nor does it make any effort to confirm it.

On the other hand, the Prime Minister's Expert Group on Job Plans under the chairmanship of Dr. C. Rangarajan has also recommended some sectoral initiatives for the development of enterprises in the state but there is no pursuel from the state government to get these valuable recommendations implemented on ground.

Despite the promises made in the industrial policy, 2004 regarding development of modern industrial areas and estates, growth centres, Integrated Infrastructure Development Centres (IID) etc. in a time bound manner, no substantial addition has been made to such infrastructure already under acquisition except that the Economic Survey 2011-12 has underlined the future programs for establishing new industrial estates at Khunmoh (Phase III), Ompora in Budgam, Chotipora in Kupwara, Ashmuji in Kulgam, Veesu in Anantnag, Govindser (phaseII) Ghatti in Kathua and Industrial Growth centre phase-III in district Samba.

However, the entrepreneurship development cannot be visualized without the requisite infrastructure in place.



                         Jammu remains non beneficiary with soft loan to mere 1 unit
                               Rehabilitation policy of sick industrial units - 30 units get soft loan
                                                   of Rs 364.07 lakhs in Kashmir region



Early Times Report

JAMMU, Mar 2: In what can be seen as the statistical figures speaking for itself discrimination with Jammu region meted out in the industry sector too , the region has been non beneficiary or meagerly benefitted in the scheme of Rehabilitation under which government has provided soft loans to sick units for their revival during the last two years. The number of sick units in the state is 3151.

As against 30 such units from various districts of Kashmir which have been sanctioned or disbursed soft loans, in Jammu only one such unit has remained a beneficiary. Whereas a total of Rs 364.07 lakhs stands sanctioned in favour of Kashmir based sick units, Jammu region has got a paltry amount of Rs 2.29 lakhs. In Kashmir division Srinagar district has remained a major beneficiary where out of atotal number of 142 units identified as sick , 41 units were approved by State Level Rehabilitation Committee for soft loan during the last two years under NC led coalition government. Out of these an amount of Rs 167 lakhs has been sanctioned or disbursed in favour of 19 such units. The statistical figures which reflect gross discrimination with Jammu districts have been compiled by the government itself in the report of Economic Survey conducted during the year 2011-12.

Even though the number of sick units in Jammu districts is less in comparison to the number in Kashmir region, yet the rehabilitation pattern shows continuance of policy of neglect and indifference towards the Jammu region as out of even small number of identified units in sick category, barring Jammu district, no other district has been given chosen for sanctioning the amount of soft loans for revival of sick units. In Udhampur district despite 18 such sick units having been identified, SLRC has not approved a single unit for soft loan. The scenario is same for the district of Kathua (2 units),Doda (5), Rajouri (2), Poonch(5), and Samba(7), units having been identified as sick, but none of these units have so far been approved for soft loan. It is only in Jammu where out of 49 identified units , just have been approved by SLRC for approval of soft loan. However, out of these just one such unit has been sanctioned an amount of Rs 2.29 lakhs.

In Kashmir region, Anantnag is the only district where despite 73 units having been identified as sick, 3 having been approved for soft loan by SLRC, none has been a beneficiary so far. It may be mentioned that for rehabilitation of sick units, the state government has agreed to to provide soft loan to the extent of 30% of total requirement to potentially viable Sick units for their revival under Rehabilitation Policy. The number of such units across the state has been identified to be 418. However, out of these only 31 have been granted soft loans, 30 in Kashmir and only one in Jammu.



                                          State Govt in touch with Centre
                                      for extension of industrial package: CM



JAMMU, Feb 15: Highlighting the significant role of industry in the balanced and sustainable growth of economy as well as employment generation, the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah today reiterated continued support of the Coalition Government to the industries adding that the State is in constant touch with the Union Finance Minister and the Union Minister for Commerce and Industries for seeking extension of the existing industrial package especially tax incentives, for another 10 years to enable industrialists stabilize more.

Speaking to a gathering of prominent industrialists and the officers of Industries and Commerce Department after laying foundation stone of a "Health Club" at Industrial Estate (I/E) Bari-Brahmana, Mr. Omar said Government endeavours to provide a conducive and congenial atmosphere for business in the State but the entrepreneurs also need to generate confidence in them for venturing in this sector. "The growth of industries in the State is all the more important in view of the un-employment, which is a biggest problem", Mr. Omar said, adding that industrialization was key to employment generation and answer to the un-employment problem.
The Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs Abdul Rahim Rather, Minister for Industries and Commerce, Surjeet Singh Slathia and Political Advisor to Chief Minister Devinder Singh Rana were also present on the occasion.

Mr. Omar said that the Government is abreast with the concerns of the industrialists and regular interactions do take place to address these at different levels. "Recently a threadbare review on the issues concerning the industrial fraternity was held at State Industrial Advisory Committee besides pre-budget discussions with the State Finance Minister, which reflects Government's seriousness towards redressing their grievances", Mr. Omar added.

Responding to the demand of the Industrial Association Bari Brahmana, regarding land acquisition for further expansion of the estate, Mr. Omar said despite facing constraints, the Government will explore all possibilities in this regard, adding that land holdings in the State are fractured, making the things increasingly difficult.

Responding to the demand about relief to the industry on power supply front, Mr. Omar said in view of the increasing losses in the power sector, the State cannot afford to freeze the power tariff for industries but assured that possibilities would be explored to chalk out a five year power schedule for the industries to help them plan their budgeting, costing and productions accordingly. "In order to ensure more power to the Industrialists and genuine consumers, the Government has decided to take tough action against gross misuse of power and its organized theft",Mr. Omar said, adding that power supply and revenue recovery will be monitored at feeder level and the concerned Government made responsible for any mis-match in this regard.
Chief Minister also released the new Telephone Directory of Bari-Brahmana Industries and visited three Industrial units viz Shalimar Flooring, UFLEX Ltd and Saraswati Plasto Tech. Ltd.

The function was organized by the Bari Brahmana Industries Association (BBIA) to facilitate the Chief Minister on successful completion of first 3 years of the coalition government. The president, BBIA Anil Suri presented the welcome address. The Commissioner/ Secretary Industries Umang Narulla, President Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Jammu Y. V. Sharma, President, Industries Estate, Gangyal, T. S. Reen, President, Industries Association, Birpur, S. S. Dutta, Managing Director J&K SIDCO, M Manzam, a large number of industrialists and officers of Industries and Commerce Department were present on the occasion

Source : Daily Excelsior



                              SPCB labs await MOEF, NABL recognition since 25 years

 

JAMMU, Feb 14: It may sound incredible but it is true that J&K State Pollution Control Board's both laboratories at Jammu and Srinagar, were still not recognized by the Central Pollution Control Board and the National Accreditation Board of Calibrations and Testing Lab under the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, despite its functioning for the last over 25 years.

The SPCB is also losing a revenue of nearly ` 2 crore every year which is going to the private Labs and in the pockets of some middlemen. While the concerned Ministry has been sleeping over the issue, those at the helm of affairs in the SPCB ignored to get these Labs at Srinagar and Jammu recognized, despite the fact that several small States in the North East neighbouring Himachal, Punjab, Uttrakhand etc have got their Labs recognized through these agencies and notified under the Environment Protection Act by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The State Pollution Control Board came into existence in 1986 and set up Regional Labs at Jammu and Srinagar within two years. Huge equipment was procured by the Board for both the regional level Labs but it remained unutilized for years together and gathered dust allegedly for want of staff and some other reasons best known to the people manning the Board affairs.

The insiders in the Board preferred Self Monitoring Reports (SMRs) of the industrial units, brick kilns etc in J&K to get examined and tested from the Private Labs outside the State that too, without any authorization. "What is the credibility or authenticity of these labs and certificates only Board knows," sources said.

As per figures available from PCB and Industries department nearly, 6000 such units and many brick kilns in J&K are obtaining these SMRs every year allegedly by paying anything between ` 10,000 to ` 20,000, depending upon the units while the Government rate of testing through Labs is anything between ` 2000 to ` 2500. "It is cheaper for them to get these tests done in PCB Labs. The figures revealed that a minimum of ` 6 to 7 crore is being generated through this exercise every year and a handsome amount is allegedly going into the pockets of the middlemen/agents. The State on the other hand is losing at least ` 1.5 to 2 crores in view of this unholy nexus," sources said.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has been trying to attract the huge industrial investment from outside and he also visited Mumbai and other places for the purpose but the SPCB is discouraging the unit holders from outside the state as for Red, Yellow and Green categories it has set the time limit for renewal / consent which is not prevalent in any other State.

Even the Uniform Consent Mechanism has been avoided. In last 5-6 years, huge chemicals, paints and metal based industry has come up at Samba, Bari Brahmana and Kathua. Keeping aside these hard facts and without bothering for the health hazards, the Board has yet to awake and go for its own labs get recognized under EP Act from MOEF, sources said.

Chairman, Pollution Control Board, J&K, Lal Chand when contacted admitted that State Board Labs at Srinagar and Jammu were yet to be recognized under EP Act by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

He said after taking over the Board affairs last year, he has taken up this matter. He claimed that there was shortage of manpower with the Board. Moreover, the CPCB authorities have raised queries regarding inadequate equipment. But own labs are performing few tests. He said that Board intended to purchase the required equipment and after fulfilling all the requisites, the Board will try its best to get its Labs recognized for the purpose.

Replying to another question, the Chairman admitted that State was losing a lot of revenue in view of non-recognition of these Regional level Labs.

Member Secretary, of the SPCB Arun Tiku said though Board has not authorized any private Lab to go for sample testing yet the industrial unit holders are managing SMR certificates at their own from some private Labs. Responding to another question, he said "perhaps Central Pollution Control Board has accorded them recognition." But he denied having given any authority or issuance of any notification in this regard by the SPCB. He assured that Board will try to get the recognition by removing all the hurdles as early as possible.

Daily Excelsior



                                   Industries sagging in Jammu and Kashmir
                      Industries in Jammu and Kashmir are showing signs of decline despite
                           the incentives and concessions provided by the central government
                                                                  since 2002.


Entrepreneurs and economy watchers say the state industries department has not been able to take steps it had promised to promote the sector which it had said was "the only way to development and creating jobs."

In 2002, the central government had announced a package of incentives and concessions for industries in Jammu and Kashmir for a period of 10 years. Also, the state had announced a new industrial policy in 2004 that will remain operational until March 31, 2015.

Replying to a recent right to information (RTI) query, the department said there are about 25,000 industrial units in Jammu and Kashmir, including 150 under the large and medium category. Of these about 11,300 are in the Jammu region and the rest in the Kashmir valley.

"Industrialisation is the only way forward for development and employment in the state. But Jammu and Kashmir has not been able to come up with an effective policy and pursuance to promote industries, which can boost the economy and address the problem of unemployment," said C.L. Gupta, a retired officer of the industries department.

He said the government had not been able to incentivise the sector. "As a result, people are hesitating to start industries and industrial houses from outside the state too are shying away."

The industries department, he said, was yet to set up a long promised "Textile Park" in Kathua to provide employment to 3,000 people.

Rakesh Sharma, a 29-year unemployed in Jammu, said he met state Industries and Commerce Minister Surjeet Singh Salathia in May 2009, heading a deputation of over 25 unemployed youths. Salathia promised that he was personally supervising the registration of new units that would not take more than seven days and that a complaint redressal centre had been set up.

'Nothing has happened till date. We are still finding problems in setting up industries in Jammu in terms of getting land and other formalities,' Sharma said.
'The government's apathetic attitude towards the industries sector is resulting in many units going sick,' said R.S. Padha (name changed), who runs a small scale unit in the Bari Brahmana Industrial area.

According to an RTI reply, nearly 350 industrial units in the state have gone sick in the last 10 years. 'The generic nature of these units going sick during the last 10 years was turmoil in the Kashmir region, besides inadequate financing by banks and lack of marketing facilities for end-products,' said the government in the RTI reply.

Said Sharma: 'This proves that the government has no policy at all. The industries minister had told us that there were strict instructions by the finance ministry to banks to meet the targets of loans and action would be taken against the banks that do not meet the targets.'

Gupta said entrepreneurs were facing problems in getting raw material and marketing the end-products. Besides, there is the problem of power shortage. 'But that is partly compensated by 100 percent subsidy on diesel generator sets of 10-100 KV.'

'Basically we need to have an industry-friendly atmosphere and culture in Jammu and Kashmir which is lacking at the moment,' said Y.V. Sharma, president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industries in Jammu.

Source: IANS Fri, 10 Feb 2012 & Glimpses of Future
Kashmir | RTI


                                      Kashmir Inc for remodelling of industrial policy
                                       Demands return of NHPC-run power projects

Srinagar, Feb 4: A high level delegation of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) at a meeting with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has raised various trade and industry-related issues and demanded return of NHPC-run power projects in J&K to state government.
President KCCI Abdul Hamid Punjabi said: “We recently had a meeting with CM in which we discussed different problems the business community in the Valley is facing.” Punjabi said the CM assured that his government will ensure return of projects from NHPC.
KCCI in the meeting, according to Punjabi, demanded revival and remodelling of Industrial policy of J&K. “We suggested that government should declare Kashmir Valley as well as Rajouri, Doda, Poonch as industrially backward so that they get more incentives,” Punjabi said. He said emphasis from the government should be on Cluster Development in these areas. KCCI further demanded that the Kashmir should be declared as free economic zone.
Source: Gk

                                      CAG Detects Irregularities in Transport Subsidy Scheme

R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, Sept 14, 2011 – The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has identified serious irregularities in the implementation of the transport subsidy scheme and pointed out that in states like Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland, there is no system of periodic inspection of the units or checking of raw materials and finished products for authenticity.

The CAG, in its report number 3 of 2010-11, said that sample surveys conducted during the audit found that transport subsidy was paid without proper verification of the documents. Out of the 120 test checked cases, the state level committees passed claims worth Rs 61.78 crore without availability of sales tax, vat assessments in 67 cases, of which, 27 are in Assam, 12 in Arunachal Pradesh, two in Himachal Pradesh, six in Jammu and Kashmir, 13 in Meghalaya and nine are in Nagaland.

The report said that of the 79 test checked cases, claims amounting to Rs 147.86 were passed without supporting documents like bank certificates, no objection certificates from the state sales tax departments etc in 77 cases, of which as many as 45 cases were from Assam, 10 from Arunachal Pradesh, 15 in Meghalaya and seven in Nagaland.

Out of the 95 test check cases, there was no proof of adjustment of outstanding dues of the Government and financial institutions and in this regard too, Assam had the dubious distinction of heading the tally with 37 such cases. The report said that in the test checked cases, an amount of Rs 137.27 crore was paid to industrial units. The report said that there were a number of instances of payment of transport subsidy without submission of claims in prescribed performa. The report said that an amount of Rs 17.92 crore was paid to units in this regard.

The report said that in eleven cases, an amount of Rs 5.33 crore was paid where the registration numbers of vehicles with which materials were transported were not available, while, in 25 cases, the guidelines regarding exclusion of the cost of loading/unloading and other handling charges were not adhered to.

The CAG pointed out that as per the rules, payments in respect of non-manufacturing units, illegal wood based activities, inadmissible raw materials etc are not permissible. However, during test check of the records, the CAG found that in Arunachal Pradesh, two saw mills engaged in illegal wood based activities were paid subsidy amounting to Rs 1.50 crore between 2004 and 2008 as per the approval of the state level committee.

As per the orders of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, transport subsidy is not admissible to CPC, which was a product of the refineries. But two industrial units of Assam were paid subsidy amounting to Rs 7.38 crore was paid between 2002 to 2009 for transportation of CPC, which was not admissible.

The report further said that an amount of Rs 34 lakh was released to an industrial unit of Assam for transportation of alcohol, spirit etc as raw material and India made foreign liquor as finished product at a time when payment of subsidy for these items are not permissible, the report added.

The Assam Tribune :Sept.15th,2011


                                        Invest in JK, Mir tells CII       

    
Srinagar, July 7: Minister for agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir today said it was the endeavour of the coalition government in J&K to facilitate the investors. He called upon the Kashmir chapter of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) to come forward and invest here not only in agriculture but in other sectors and also guide other investors to invest here. He said it will help in building the confidence among other investors. The minister was speaking to a delegation of Kashmir chapter of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) which discussed with him possibilities and prospects of investment in Agro-based industries in the state.

The delegation brought to the notice of the Minister bottlenecks faced in the hassle free investment in the agriculture sector in the state. The delegation demanded industrial status to activities like setting up of cold stores, juice plants and other allied activities and also exemption from sales tax.

The delegation said that the investment in this sector could generate huge employment opportunities for the unemployed youth of the state. The delegation said that it will provide market brand to the traditional food items to give it unique identity, an official statement said. Minister of the state for Agriculture, Javeed Ahmad Dar was also present in the meeting Mir assured the delegation of all possible being provided investors like you and added that Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah is keen in this regard. He said that the youth of the state have a huge potential and the time has come to harness it in better way to strengthen the economy of the state.

Principal Secretary, M I Khanday, Director Horticulture, Kashmir G H Shah, Director Agriculture, Kashmir, Farooq Ahmad lone, Director Sericulture and other senior officers were present in the meeting.




                                                              40 pc units in Zainakote IE defunct

                                                  ‘Govt Takes No Steps To Re-Allot Out-Of-Use Units’

Srinagar, July 8: GK - With government playing indifferent, Valley’s oldest industrial estate at Zainakote here is facing some serious problems in the face of infrastructure deficit and forces’ presence. Sources disclosed that a large number of units in the IE are defunct. “Besides, there are units which have been abandoned by the Pandits way back in 1990s in the wake of their migration from the Valley,” sources said, adding that the government has failed to take effective steps to re-allot such units to new entrepreneurs who could make them functional. Sources said despite government efforts, it has failed to bring back the Pandit entrepreneurs. “These units are dead for past about two decades now, yet the government is not taking any effective step to make them functional,” the Zainakote entrepreneurs said.

They said they would be happy if the Pandit entrepreneurs returned, “but they seem uninterested to set their businesses here again.” A senior official in J&K Small Scale Industries Development Corporation Limited (SICOP) pleading anonymity said: “The forces have been in four units comprising 35 kanals of land. The units include Kashmir Alcolides which has 32 kanals, Supreme New Light Candles, Wilson Cables, and Kashmir Switchgear each having one kanal.”

He said the unit holders were getting huge amount of rent from the forces while giving a small amount of rent to SICOP. “They are paying rent at Rs 250 per kanal to SICOP, but they are charging rent at much higher rates from the forces,” he said.

Sources said the government had earlier passed orders for their relocation. “As per those orders they were supposed to be relocated by March 2010,” they said. The unit holders said the forces have erected barricades which create hurdles in the smooth movement of the vehicles coming to and leaving from the Estate. “Around 100 unit holders in the Estate want to expand their units and this property could be allotted to them, in absence of any land available nearby,” suggested president Small Scale Industrial Association Zainakote, Shahjahan Khan.

INFRASTRUCTURE-DEFICIT

The industrialists complained that there is no round-the-clock electricity in the Estate. “We have learnt that the industries and commerce department is not releasing the funds for the installation of transformers in the Estate,” they said. “Secondly, due to low voltage machines malfunction and work gets affected,” said Javeed Haroon, an entrepreneur.
He said the Estate sans fencing. “There is no industrial security here as a result some burglary attempts were reported in the past,” he added. Managing Director, SICOP, R K Razdan said that out of 191 units, only 112 are functional. He said that 17 units of migrants are defunct. He said: “Several meetings were held with defense people to leave the Estate but they have not vacated yet.” Despite repeated attempts, Joint Director Industries and Commerce Department Bilal Ahmad could not be contacted.

           Big bonanza for JK unemployed; Centre approves 5 lakh jobs in Rs 1,000 Cr plan

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday approved a Rs. 1,000 crore employment plan for job-starved Jammu and Kashmir, which can accommodate around five lakh unemployed men and women. It is in accordance with the understanding reached between the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and the J and K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who had been struggling hard to rehabilitate the misguided youth from the Valley and divert them to productive and constructive outlets by providing alternatives to the self destructive path of violence, generating hate and disorder.

The plan of Special Industry Initiative Scheme in Jammu and Kashmir was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs at its meeting here chaired by the Prime Minister, according to an official statement. The plan may also absorb the educated unemployed from the Jammu region, who are restless due to unemployment while not even getting their fair share in locally generated jobs.

“It has been launched to enhance the employment opportunities in the state and to formulate a jobs plan involving both the public and private sectors, especially for the youth,” the statement said.

The scheme would be launched to provide job-oriented training to some 40,000 graduates, post-graduates and professional degree holders over a period of five years.
With 100 percent assistance from the Centre, the plan will be jointly implemented by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and India’s corporate sector. NSDC is a public-private partnership initiative for the development and upgrading of the skills of the growing Indian workforce through training programmes.

The identified private companies will screen and select candidates from the state. After assessing the skill gap of the trainees and the need of the corporate, they will be trained suitably to be absorbed by the private companies.

The company will, in turn, be given incentives to absorb the trainees, the statement said.
The estimated expenditure is approximately Rs. 2, 50,000 per trainee. “The central government will make a provision of Rs. 500 crore in the next five years from 2011-12 onwards. The cost of travel, boarding and lodging and stipend (of trainees) will be borne by the central government,” the statement said.

But the training cost will initially be borne by the company which will be reimbursed if the trained youth are given employment. Some 8,000 youth from the state are proposed to be trained annually. The plan is based on the recommendations of expert group headed by known economist C. Rangarajan set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in August 2010.s

According to rough estimates, there are around 5,00,000 unemployed youth in Jammu and Kashmir which Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has described as a major challenge for the state. The Chief Minister has been maintaining that the problem of unemployment was feeding the two decades of militancy in the State.


            New hydro-electric policy approved; CM spells out its contours


SRINAGAR: Soon after the Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet approved the State Hydro Electric Development Policy at its meeting in Srinagar on Thursday, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah said this will open vistas for launching various hydroelectric projects in the State under IPP mode.

Omar said that the new policy to be applicable to the projects of estimated installed capacity of 2 to 100 MWs envisages preference to the state subjects for the projects up to 10 MWs. Unveiling the policy and explaining its salient features at a press conference here, the Chief Minister said that J and K State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) will be the Nodal Agency of the State Government under the policy while projects up to 2 MWs will be handled by Science and Technology Department.
“Under the new policy no IPP will be awarded more than 3 projects or projects aggregating over 200 MWs whichever is the higher. The projects shall be offered for concession period of 35 years after which these shall be transferred to JKSPDC on payment of terminal value without any encumbrance”, he added.
Omar stated that the successful bidders would be required to pay an upfront premium not less than Rs. 4 lakh per MW for 2 to 25 MWs projects, Rs. 6 lakh per MW for projects above 25 to 50 MWs and not less than Rs. 8 lakh per MW for projects of above 50 to 100 MWs.
“Under the new policy the State would get 15 per cent free power throughout the concession period apart from 1 per cent for Local Area Development Fund (LADF) besides the Procurement Right to the quantum not less than 30 per cent after netting of free power and LADF”, he maintained explaining the benefits of the new policy for the State.
The Chief Minister said that the policy also provides for timeline execution of projects, sale of power by IPP, grid interface-open access, bid parameters, role of government, PDC and IPPs, responsibilities of IPPs, preference to permanent resident of the State in employment, preference to locally manufactured material and incentives for IPPs.
Omar said that the need for a new Hydel Policy was necessitated when the lacunas were identified by the IPPs in the Jammu and Kashmir State Hydel Policy 2003 and they declined to sign the agreements. “This had an impact on the process of allotment of 10 projects through competitive bidding under Phase-I and 25 projects tendered under IPP Phase-II resulting in cancellation of the tenders”, he said.
“A committee headed by the Economic Advisor J and K Government and comprising Administrative Secretaries of Planning, Finance, Power, Managing Director, JKSPDC and Development Commissioner Power as its members was constituted to formulate a revised Hydroelectric Policy for the State”, he said.
The committee associated Administrative Secretaries of Industries and Commerce, PHE, Science and Technology Departments and others in their deliberation. The committee uploaded the first draft for initiating the comments of the stakeholders. The comments received were discussed and suitable changes wherever necessary were incorporated in the draft. The views received from Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Ministry of Power, Government of India were also discussed and considered. The draft policy was also circulated to all the concerned departments and the comments received were discussed and incorporated wherever needed. This all culminated in the final draft of the policy which was approved by the Cabinet in its today’s meeting.
Replying various questions, he said that State Government is working on a plan for unbundling of transmission and distribution system in the State to incorporate reforms and improvement in power transmission and supply. He said 100 per cent metering would help to reduce the transmission losses.
The Chief Minister said that the new policy is largely aimed at harnessing power potential of small rivers and tributaries all across the State. He said that under the first phase we expect minimum power generation of 250 to 300 MWs under IPP.




                                        Handicrafts Export Touches All Time High of Rs. 1000 Cr
.


SRINAGAR, May 27: In a significant achievement, the State's Handicrafts export has touched an all time high of Rs.1004 crore by ending March, 2011 as compared to Rs. 661.24 crore during the previous fiscal.

Stating this here today, while, reviewing the performance of Handicrafts Department at a high level meeting, the Minister for Industries and Commerce S.S.Slathia said that the Govt. is mobilizing all the available options and resources to give boost to the Handicrafts sector which provides livelihood to about 4 lakh people in the State.

The Minister said measures are underway to provide all the possible export oriented facilities to the artisans and handicrafts traders, adding that after strenuous efforts of the State Govt., the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs has established Foreign Trade Affairs office in Srinagar where a senior officers of Indian Trade Service (ITS), A. Saibaboo, Assistant Director General, Foreign Trade Affairs has already assumed the charge. In addition, the Director General, Foreign Trade, GoI has authorized the Director, Handicrafts J&K as licensing authority for issuing registration-cum-membership certificates by the virtue of which the artisans and handicrafts dealers would now be able to get exemption from export duty without going to Delhi for getting themselves registered with various Export Promotion Councils at New Delhi.

The Minister said that with the increase in the montly stipend of trainees from Rs. 100 per month ( Basic Course) to Rs. 500 and from Rs 200 per month to Rs. 700 per month for advanced course, the Govt. is poised to utilize 100% intake capacity in all the 553 Handicrafts Centres running in the State. The Handicrafts Department has set the target to train 12000 youth in various handicrafts trades during the current financial year.

The Minister also directed for expeditiously completing the ambitious project to replace all the traditional looms with the modern looms under implementation at a cost of Rs. 1.20 crore. It was informed that 39 looms have already been replaced by the modern looms while the remaining 35 looms would be replaced by the June 20, this year.

Commissioner/Secretary, Industries and Commerce Umang Narula, Director Handicrafts, J&K. Meraj-ud-Din Keenu, all the district level officers and representatives of planning and development departments attendedthe meeting.

Meanwhile, while reviewing performance of the Geology and Mining Department, Mr Slathia said that an extensive exercise for exploration of base metal items like Zinc, Copper and Iron besides industrial minerals would be undertaken from the current year to give a boost to mineral based industries in the State. The prospecting would be undertaken in collaboration with the Geological Survey of India (GSI).

The Minister said that huge reserves of best quality marble and granite available in the state should be exploited, adding that the Geology and Mining Department should switch over to open bidding / tendering for this purpose.

The Minister asked the Director Geology and Mining to fix targets for exploration of maximum reserves of Gypsum, lime stone, marble, granite, bauxite, dolomite, coal, lignite which exists in abundance in the State.

                                 
                                              IT Sleuths Raid Ind Swift Group’s 3 Premises
                                                              at Samba, Bari Brahamana


JAMMU, May 27: In a major operation against the tax evaders, Income Tax Department carried out simultaneous raids in over 20 premises of the Ind Swift Group in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Following 24 hours long search and seizure operation, the Group surrendered Rs 55 crore undisclosed income. Official sources said that on the basis of information collected from various sources indicating large scale concealment of income by the Ind Swift Group, Director General of the Investigation Wing of Income Tax Department issued warrants for carrying out search and seizure operations in all the premises of the Chandigarh-based group.

Accordingly, the sleuths of Investigation Wing started simultaneous raids in over 20 premises of the Ind Swift Group including three in Jammu— Ind Swift Pharmaceutical Ltd and Ind Swift Labs Ltd at Samba and Ind Swift Manthol at Bari Brahamana. As this was one of the major operations against the tax evaders, senior officers of the Income Tax Department personally heading the teams constituted to swoop down on all the premises of the group.

From most of the premises of the group including three at Jammu, the IT sleuths seized incriminating documents indicating large-scale evasion of tax by way of manipulating the purchases and sales, they said while disclosing that 24 hours long search and seizure operation concluded at around 8 am today.

Ind Swift Pharmaceutical Ltd deals in formulation of tablets, capsules, syrups and injections while as Ind Swift Labs supplies drugs in large quantities in gunny bags and barrels.

Outside J&K, the premises of Ind Swift Group were raided at Manimajra, Chandigarh, Mohali, Gurgaon, Derabassi, Patiala and Himachal Pradesh, sources said, adding not only corporate office, factories, plants and Research and Development Centres, even the residences of all the three promoters of the group namely N R Munjal, S R Mehta and Himanshu Jain at Panchkula and Chandigarh were also raided by the IT sleuths.

"Soon after the conclusion of raids in group’s premises at Samba and Bari Brahamana, the IT sleuths from Jammu office of the Department sent the impounded incriminating documents to Director General Investigation Wing for their detailed scrutiny", sources said, adding "the simultaneous raids in almost all the premises of Ind Swift Group across three States led to surrender of Rs 55 crore undisclosed income by the Group".

"This is not the final figure as detailed scrutiny of the impounded documents is yet to be started", sources said, adding "keeping in view the seizure of large scale incriminating documents the group may have to cough up several more crores of rupees undisclosed income".
In response to a question, sources said that this was a biggest operation of the Income Tax Department against such a major group in the recent past, adding information about several other major groups having premises in different Northern States and indulging in evasion of tax is also being gathered by the Investigation Wing before launching such a operation against them.

                             



                                 Banned Endosulfan Still Being Used in J&K
                             30 Pesticides Industrial Units Come Up in Jammu After Closure  Elsewhere

JAMMU, May 19: Despite the fact Endosulfan has finally been brought under the Annexure-A of the Stockholm Convention coupled with ban on its use by the supreme court a few days back, but in Jammu and Kashmir around 30 pesticide industrial units are still using this poisonous chemical in the formulation of pesticides for use in agriculture sector.

Sources in J&K State Pollution Control Board informed “KASHMIR TIMES” that around 30 pesticides, weedicides and herbicide formulation industries are operational in the entire state. Out of all these pesticide industries, 16 units are located in Samba district, 8 units in Bari Brahmana industrial area, 4 units in Udhampur and 2 units in Kathua Industrial area. Out of these 32 pesticide units, two units have been closed down for the reasons best known to the industrialists.

Krishi Rasayan, Jai Shree Rasayan, Crop Chemicals, Sunil Chemicals, Rajdhani Petro Chemicals, Crop Health, Sudershan Consolidate are few pesticide industries among the 16 pesticide industries operational in Samba district.

Sources in District Industrial Center, Samba informed that industries were divided into three categories Red, Orange and Green. The industries falling in Red category emit huge hazardous waste and their licenses are being renewed on annual basis.

General Manager, DIC Samba Pardeep Manhas said that all the pesticide industries functional in Samba were not the manufacturing houses but formulating industries and fall under Orange Category. “The industries fall under Orange category have to renew their licences after every 2 years from the Pollution Control Board,” said Manhas besides adding that Endosulfan chemical is being used in all of the existing pesticide units.

Officials of Pollution control board wishing anonymity informed that there are around 120 pesticide industries in the entire country and one forth of these pesticide units are in Jammu province. The pesticides formulated in these industries are mainly exported to other states as there is ban on the production of pesticides in many states of India.

Sensing the hazardousness of the pesticide industries on the environment, the state government had banned the installation of more pesticide industries in the state in year 2008. But keeping in view the latest developments on this front, J&K is yet to formulate new policy and guidelines for setting up of these industrial units in J&K despite the fact their working has been considered to be hazardous not only in the agriculture sector but also for the reason that they are considered to be creating pollution of an unimaginable extent. This was the main reason that India also became a signatory to the global convention for banning its production and use in the agriculture sector last month.

Sources of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences maintained that Endosulfan is sprayed on all major crops such as vegetables, cotton, pulses and rice to combat pests such as whitefly, leafhoppers, aphids and cabbage worms, without harming insects such as bees that help in pollination.

Scientific studies have also established that the chemical is bio-accumulative, meaning that it doesn’t decompose even after entering the food chain. Many countries outlawed Endosulfan long ago because it is dangerous for farm-workers, accumulates in the body, kills beneficial insects and persists in the environment having long term dangerous effects.

Pollution Control Board Regional Director Showkat Choudhary when asked about the use of Endosulfan in pesticide industries, he said that Endosulfan was not used in any of the pesticide industries in Jammu province. But when asked repeatedly he maintained that he didn’t have any information about the use of Endosulfan as a major chemical component in these industrial units.

When asked DIC Jammu, General Manager Bhavani Rakwal about the number and names of Pesticide Industries in Jammu district he informed that the Statistical Manager was on polling duty and the information regarding the matter would only be given when the statistical officer returned.

Director Industries B S Dua said that he would only inform about the use of Endosulfan after getting information from his staff. About the future of these pesticide industries he maintained that they were abiding by the orders of the state government.

Industry Minister Surjeet Singh Slathia when contacted on phone, he maintained that he was outside the state and didn’t know about the matter. He said that he would gather the information about these industrial units in view of the latest developments as also look into their classification under the new guidelines.

It is pertinent to mention here that Indian government has also agreed for a moratorium on the use of Endosulfan pesticide, after recently held four-day Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants at Geneva, along with more than 150 countries.

It was on May 14 last that the Supreme Court passed an ad-interim order for immediate ban on production and use of Endosulfan all over India with immediate effect for eight weeks. The apex court also directed the statutory authorities to freeze the production licenses granted to the manufacturers of Endosulfan till further orders.

 
              Constitute Industrial Advisory Committee: CM

 

JAMMU, Apr 26: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Tuesday asked the industrialists to rise to the occasion by way of providing employment to the locals and contributing positively in the efforts of Government to address unemployment crisis.

"Nobody is born with skills. You should allow the local youth to learn and grow with you", he told industrialists emphasizing on expanding the job orbit for young persons in the private sector.

Speaking to the representatives of Federation of Industries at a high level meeting here, the Chief Minister directed for constitution of Industrial Advisory Committee to look into the issues relating to the growth and development of this sector.

Omar Abdullah said that Government was willing to provide concessions and benefits to the industrialists but the advantage of industrialization should flow to the people at large. "You can expect more benefits in lieu of more employment to the local youth", he told industrialists assuring full Government support for the growth and development of industrial sector in the State.

Minister for Industries, S. S. Slathia, Advisors to the Chief Minister, Mubarak Gul and Devender Singh Rana, Chief Secretary, Madhav Lal, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Commissioner Secretary Finance, Sudhanshu Pandey, Commissioner Secretary Industries, Umang Narula and various senior officers were present in the meeting.

Chairman, Federation of Industries, Tejwant Singh Reen highlighted the demands of the Federation in the meeting and sought the Chief Minister's intervention in resolution of issues relating to the welfare of industrialists and growth of the sector.

In response to the demands raised by the Federation in the meeting, the Chief Minister said that he had already received a full-fledged memorandum from the Federation listing various demands.

"The copies of the memorandum have been circulated to the concerned departments for examination and early action", the Chief Minister said, adding "Government is already on it and you will be informed about the action taken regarding various issues, you have raised in the memorandum."


                         CCI flays Govt for Amendment in VAT

 

JAMMU, Apr 13: Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CCI) has criticized the latest amendment made by the Commercial Tax authorities in the VAT rules and VAT returns.

Taking serious note of the matter, the Jammu Chamber expressed that there was no need of going for such amendment as it is not going to help the traders as well as the department. They alleged that it will only encourage more corruption. They strongly urged the Finance Minister to go for its review.

                                                          Omar for Revival of SFC

Jammu, Apr 13: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Thursday emphasized the need of rejuvenating State Financial Corporation (SFC) to give necessary boost to the industrialization in the State.

Chairing a meeting to review the measures to infuse new energy in the Corporation and making it a viable and effective tool to address the growth and development issues of industry in the State, the Chief Minister stressed on a clear road map in this regard.

Omar said SFC could prove highly effective in developing MSME sector in the State and laying strong edifice for viable and profitable industries. The Chief Minister said that strong credit institutions were imperative for paving the way to develop industries and ensure their sustenance. He said revival of SFC would be an important step in this direction. Omar asked the Finance Department to move ahead and work out meaningful and viable strategy to achieve the goal, an official statement said.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Finance, Abdul Rahim Rather, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Commissioner Secretary Finance, Sudhanshu Pandey, Managing Director, STC and other senior officers.

In a Power Point presentation the Commissioner Secretary Finance presented a brief about the role and impact of SFC in the industrial development in Jammu and Kashmir. He also gave details about the present status of the Corporation and measures in pipeline to strengthen it and develop its operational strategy.



                                   Highlights of Economic Survey of 2010-11-J&K


JAMMU:March 2011, The Economic Survey was tabled by the Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather in both the Houses of Legislature is full of positive developments with the State showing marked improvements in all the development parameters. These are briefly summarised as under.

The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of the State is continuously growing. As per new series i.e. 2004-2005, it has grown from Rs. 27,004.63 crore to Rs. 47,709.31 crore during the period from 2004-2005 to 2010-2011 at current prices, registering an increase of 76.67 per cent. At constant (2004-2005) prices, the GSDP has risen from Rs. 27,004.63 crore to Rs.37,886.92 crore during the same period registering an increase of 40.30 %.

The working force in J&K constitutes 37.01 per cent of total population against the corresponding rate of 39.10 per cent in the country. The State is neck to neck in respect of work force with national rate.

Contribution of Primary Sector (Agriculture and allied activities) to the State economy at constant (2004-2005) prices as per advance estimated for 2009-10 has been 22.63 per cent. The relative share of this sector to GDP at national level for the year 2009-10 has been 16.99 per cent.

Contribution of Secondary sector to State GDP as per advance estimates for 2009-2010 was 29.55 per cent against 25.84 per cent at the national level for the same year.

Contribution of Tertiary Sector to State GDP as per advance estimates for 2009-2010 was 47.82 per cent against 57.17 per cent at the national level for the year 2009-2010.

The Per capita GSDP at constant (2004-2005) prices as per preliminary estimates for the year 2010-2011 was Rs.32,496 registering an increase of 5.21 per cent over per capita GSDP of Rs. 30,886 for 2009-2010. The relative per capita income figures for India stood at Rs. 38,060 for 2009-2010 and Rs. 36,005 for 2008-2009.

Agriculture constitutes an important sector of the State economy as around 70 per cent of the population of J and K derives its income directly or indirectly from this sector. Agriculture absorbs 49 per cent of the total working force of the State with 42 per cent as cultivators and 7 per cent as agriculture labourers depending directly on agriculture for their livelihood. Kashmir’s agriculture has an international identity. The worlds best saffron is grown in the Valley and its major intensity is in District Pulwama and Budgam. Nearly 98 per cent of total area in the State under the crop is cultivativable in Kashmir division only. Its cultivation in Jammu division is limited to district Kishtwar only. Horticulture is emerging as a fast growing sector in the State. Its importance can be visualised by its contribution to the State’s economy which is estimated around 7-8 per cent.

Almost 45 per cent economic returns in agriculture sector are accounted for by horticulture produce. 5 lakh families comprising of 30 lakh people are involved in horticulture trade. Fruit production of the State increased from 16.91 lakh metric tones in 2008-2009 to 17.13 lakh metric tones in 2009-2010, recording an increase of 1.30 per cent. For the current year, the State expects fruit production of 22.22 lakh metric tones to register notable increase of 29.71 per cent over previous year’s production figures. Out of total fruit production for 2009-2010, 15.35 lakh tones constituting 90 per cent was fresh fruit and the remaining 10 per cent dry fruit. In the fruit production figures share of apple accounted for 86.17 per cent and walnut with 9.64 per cent share, is the next major fruit.

As per provisional estimates of 18th livestock census 2007, total livestock population in the State has increased from 98.99 lakh in 2003 to 104.73 lakhs in 2007, registering an increase of 5.8 per cent.
The number of livestock per 1,000 of human population as per livestock census 2007 was 882 animals while as at all India level the number was only 457, as per livestock census 2003. Per capita forest area accounts for 0.17 hectares as compared to 0.07 hectares in the country.

The industrial sector of the J and K State comprising of manufacturing sector (both registered and unregistered), Construction, Electricity, Water supply and Gas and Mining and Quarrying is growing slowly. Overall contribution of Industrial Sector to GSDP has risen from 27.33 per cent in 2004-2005 to 29.55 per cent in 2007-2008.

The contribution of Manufacturing sector (both registered and un-registered) in GSDP of J and K is increasing day by day and has increased from 3.8 per cent in 1999-00 to 7.17 per cent in 2007-2008. Taking individually, the manufacturing sector. Registered contributes 2.65 per cent and un-registered contributes 4.42 per cent to GSDP of the State.

The contribution of Construction sector to GSDP in the J and K State is also increasing over the years and has increased from 11.60 per cent in 1999-00 to 18.12 per cent in 2009-2010. The construction sector is growing significantly which is evident from the fact that its contribution to GSDP has substantially increased during the period from 1999-00 to 2009-2010.

Exports of handicrafts have also maintained upward trend during the years. Handicraft goods valuing Rs. 1200 crore were exported during year 2007-2008. However, there was a decline in export sales to Rs. 705.50 crore during the year 2008-2009, which further declined to Rs. 661.27 crore during 2009-2010.
Handloom industry also occupies a premier position in the State’s economy. There are approximately 37,000 handlooms in the State, out of which Kashmir Valley is having a share of about 70 per cent. The influx of tourists to J and K has increased from 28.35 lakh in 1988 to 77.18 lakh in 2008, showing an increase of 172.19 per cent in tourist rush during the last two decades. Crude Birth Rate of 18.6 per milli of J and K State is also lower than the national level birth rate of 22.5 per milli for 2009. Average population per Doctor during the period from 1950-2009, has decreased from 17,683 to 2,273. Population covered per school in the State was 539 in 2008-09 against 871 persons in 2006-2007 at the national level. Teacher pupil ratio at primary level in the State in 2008-2009 was 128 against 45 in 2006-07 at the national level. Census 2001 has revealed that 55 per cent households live permanent houses. 32.15 per cent in semi-permanent houses and 12.85 per cent were living in temporary houses, and the relative position in India was 51.80 per cent, 30.04 per cent and 18.16 per cent respectively. Categorizing the households living in owned, rented and other categories, works out to be 93 per cent, 5 per cent and 2 per cent for J&K and 87 per cent, 11 per cent and 2 per cent respectively for India. These figures also depict good position for the State as compared to All India. During 2009-2010, 3379.489 MWs energy was generated as against 1658.590 MWs for 2008-09 thereby registering growth of 103.76 per cent.


                      Industrial Body of Gangyal Meets PDD Comm/Secretary under the
                       chairmanship of
 Sh. Tejwant Singh Reen - Highlights Issues


JAMMU, Mar 25: Association of Industries, Gangyal, held a meeting here today with the Commissioner/Secretary, Power Development Department (PDD) under the president-ship of Tejwant Singh Reen and Virender Jain, General Secretary, to discuss the power related issues in respect of industrial area, Gangyal. Development Commissioner Power, Chief Engineers of M&RE and System and Operation, also attended the meeting.

The delegation informed that about three years back a proposal regarding up-gradation of 11 KVA transformer was sent by chief engineer M&RE but no action has been taken till today. They also stressed upon the Commissioner/Secretary to remove the domestic load from the industrial area, Gangyal and Digiana so that the receiving station Gangyal is solely dedicated to the industrial sector and uninterrupted power supplied to these two estates.

Regarding snapping of power, Commissioner/Secretary directed the Development Commissioner to issue orders to the concerned not to resort to power cut from Gladni but instead such load shedding should be made from Miran Sahib whenever necessary.

About the installation of CTPT meters, Development Commissioner informed that no such instruction have ever been issued. He assured that he would issue order that no CTPT meters need to be installed by unit holders.

At last Commissioner/Secretary assured the delegation of all possible assistance to mitigate the power related problems and the delegation also expressed gratitude for listening their problems.

                DB Sets-Aside IT Tribunal Order on Excise Refund, Interest Subsidy etc.                     

JAMMU, Jan 31: Division Bench of State High Court comprising Justice J P Singh and Justice Hasnain Massodi today set-aside the order of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Amritsar Bench regarding excise refund and interest subsidy to the industries.

The landmark judgement was passed in 20 appeals filed against the order of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal denying the appellants deductions under Section 80-1B of the Income Tax Act, 1961 on the excise refund and interest subsidy.

The Tribunal, while passing order, stated that excise refund and interest subsidy received by appellants in pursuance to the new Industrial Policy and other concessions announced for the State vide Government of India, Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) office memorandum of June 14, 2002, was, Revenue Receipt and not Capital Receipt, hence liable to tax.

After hearing battery of lawyers appearing for the appellants and for the Income Tax Department, Division Bench observed that the incentives provided to the industrial units in terms of the New Industrial Policy for accelerated industrial development in the State, creation of industrial atmosphere, which would provide additional permanent source of employment to the unemployed, were in the nature of creation of new assets of industrial atmosphere and environment.

"Such incentives designed to achieve public purpose can not by any stretch of reasoning be construed as production or operational incentives for the benefit of assesses alone", the DB further said, adding "looking to the purpose of eradication of the social problem of unemployment by acceleration of the industrial development and removing backwardness of the area, the incentives provided by the office memorandum and statutory notifications cannot be construed as mere production and trade incentives as held by the Tribunal".

The approved for reporting judgment written by Justice JP Singh for Division Bench further observed that making of additional provision in the scheme that incentives would become available to the industrial units, entitled thereto, from the date of commencement of the commercial production and that these were not required for creation of new assets cannot be viewed in isolation.

"The other factors, which had weighed with the Tribunal in determining the incentives as production incentives may not be decisive to determine the character of the incentive subsidies, when it is found, as demonstrated in the office memorandum, amendment introduced thereto and the statutory notification too that the incentives were provided with the object of creating avenues for perpetual employment, to eradicate the social problem of unemployment in the State by accelerated industrial development", the judgement said.

The finding of the Tribunal on the first issue that the Excise Duty Refund, Interest Subsidy and Insurance Subsidy were production incentives, hence revenue Receipt, cannot be sustained, being against the law laid down by Supreme Court of India in Sahney Steel and Ponni Sugars cases, the DB said.

With these observations, the DB set aside the findings of the Tribunal that the incentives were revenue receipt. "The appellants appeals before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal against the orders of the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals), and Income Tax Officers, shall, therefore, revive for passing appropriate consequential orders thereon, in accordance with law, in view of the findings recorded in these appeals", the DB said.
Daily Excelsior


                           Foundation Stone laid Down for  Udyog Bhawan, Kashmir

                                       

Srinagar, Oct 25,2010: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah asked the industrialists and unit holders to get actively involved in restoring peace in the Valley and assured them the government was ready to support them. “This is not only imperative for the sustenance of your economy but also for the larger interests of the people. If you employ people in your units that will lessen burden on us because they would otherwise knock our doors and seek government jobs,” he said.
Omar took at dig at industrialists of the Valley saying when they were asked to attend the all-party delegation last month they either turned down the invitation or dodged them.
“Today when the situation is returning to normal, these people are writing letters to me seeking tax waivers and concessions.” Earlier, minister for Industries, Surjeet Singh Slathia, said the Kashmir Woolen Mills at Bemina would be opened within next three months. Slathia said 40,000 modern looms were being introduced in the Valley to replace old ones and give boost to the handicrafts sector. “Some 150 demonstration units are being established to exhibit the quality and capacity of new looms and train the artisans accordingly.”
Slathia expressed hope that the construction work of the Udyog Bhawan entrusted to SICOP would be completed within two years instead of three years fixed for it.
He said the complex would be five-storey building housing all industrial concerns of the government under one roof. He said the built up area of the complex would be 65,000 sq. mtrs.
Slathia said, “SICOP has registered tremendous upward trend in its turnover during last 21 months of Omar Abdullah-led Government. Against Rs 150 Crore turnover in 2008, the Corporation achieved Rs 512 Crore turnover last year while as the target for current year is Rs 612 Crore”.
The minister said Rs 8 Crore Textile Park was also coming up at Zakura and it will be inaugurated soon.
The Minister of State for Industries, Dr. Manohar Lal, MLA Batamloo, Muhammad Irfan Shah, Minister for Forests, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Minister for Higher Education, Abdul Gani Malik, Advisors to Chief Minster, Mubarak Gul and Devender Singh Rana, Chairperson Women’s Development Corporation, Shamima Firdous, Commissioner Secretary Industries, Umang Narula, were also present on the occasion.



                                       State Cabinet Approval Regarding Single Window


JAMMU, Oct 6,2010 : The Cabinet accorded approval to the amendments to the J&K State Legal Services Authority Act regarding Member Secretary, replacement of District Level Committee with Divisional Level Committee for clearing industrial cases under single window system and approval to industrial area in Ompora (Budgam).




                       Tejwant Singh Reen Re-elected as President, AOI-Gangyal


9/27/2010
Early Times Report


Jammu, Sept 27: Tejwant Singh Reen elected president of association of industries for the term 2010-2012. Elections were held for six posts of the association of industries, Gangyal. Tejwant Singh Reen secured 379 votes, out of 571 votes polled, SB Abrol secured 347 votes for the post of senior vice president. Similarly, Kuldip Ohri secured 255 votes for the post of Vice President and Virendra Jain polled 324 votes for the post of General Secretary. Likewise Anil Raina secured 314 votes and Balram Gupta 290 votes for the posts of secretary and treasurer respectively.

The elected team took over the charge today at a very simple and impressive function. S.Tejwant Singh Reen, a senior member of the association has so far fought six elections and has come out with flying colours every time. In earlier stint, he worked as secretary for two terms, general secretary of the association for two terms. He was elected president of the association for the earlier term of 2008-10 and has repeated his performance for 2010-2012 as well.


                                                   FIL brings laurels to J&K
                                            Wins ‘Company of the Year’ award

By KNS
29 March 2012
Srinagar: Bringing laurels to Jammu and Kashmir, FIL Industries Limited has been conferred upon with the “Company of the Year” award in the agriculture input and non-farm sector at the recently concluded Emerging India Awards 2012 at Mumbai.
The awards function was held on March 22 (Thursday) at Taj Lands Ends, Mumbai. The Chief Guests at the awards ceremony were Minister of State for Information and Technology, Sachin Pilot and Chairman of the Bajaj Group, Rahul Bajaj. Out of a total of over 125,000 companies throughout India evaluated for these awards, 17 were declared winners across various categories this year.
Leading industrialists and business luminaries from the country were also present at the awards function. Tariq Bukhari, the Joint Managing Director of the Company, received the award on behalf of FIL.
The Emerging India Awards are sponsored by ICICI Bank and CNBC-TV18, and are in their seventh year. The awards focus on entrepreneurs striving for world-class facilities, setting the highest benchmarks and optimizing opportunities across the globe.
“These are the companies who are the next generation of India's business leaders. The awards are recognition for companies who have leveraged the opportunities created by the global financial crisis and emerged victorious. They have set new standards of excellence, through good business practices, innovation and sustainable growth,” said the speakers on the occasion.
FIL Industries Limited is a diversified business conglomerate with interests in agro-chemicals, consumer products and agro-infrastructure. For over two decades, FIL Industries Limited has been developing a comprehensive and dependable range of crop protection chemicals that include a wide range of fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and acaricides.
The Company has its own manufacturing units for formulation of products sourced from the best available resources worldwide. The consumer division of FIL Industries Limited was set-up over a decade ago with the foray and development of one of the largest fruit processing plants in Asia.
The consumer division is primarily engaged in the manufacturing and export of fruit juice concentrate and is a leading supplier to marquee multinational brands both internationally as well as domestically. The manufacturing unit at Rangreth, Srinagar, is India’s largest fruit juice concentrate and is a hallmark of technological excellence, commissioned with state of the art advanced machinery procured from the best sources worldwide. FIL also offers a wide range of juice and beverage options that are a perfect combination of taste and nutrition. These products meet the individual nutritional needs and are also a smart and healthy beverage choice.
FIL Industries Limited is amongst the top three companies in India to have invested in the development of post-harvest management systems and has set-up integrated CA facilities with an integrated capacity of approximately 10,000 MT along with a state-of-the-art packing & grading line at Rangreth, Srinagar.
In fact, FIL has been the pioneer in bringing the CA storage technology to India, and other leading business houses throughout the country have followed suit. The Company today is known for maximizing customer satisfaction through value addition/ quality improvement in its entire product and service portfolio. With a futuristic outlook, FIL is committed to grow into a successful transnational corporation with diversified business interests.

                             BBIA flays PDD for worsening power supply

JAMMU, Feb 17: The Bari Brahmana Industries Association (BBIA) has flayed the Power Development Department (PDD) for deteriorating power supply in the SIDCO Industrial Complex, Bari Brahmana.To discuss the issue, the office bearers of BBIA today held a meeting under the chairmanship of Devinder Mahajan. It was said in the meeting that PDD was supplying power only for 16 hours against the 24 hours, as mentioned in tariff 2008-09 but, from the last fortnight the position of BB-2 station has deteriorated due to the negligence on the part of the department.

It was further mentioned that industry connected on the feeder had hardly been supplied power for 130 hours in the current month (till February 16) which was 50 percent of the committed and 33 percent, as per tariff. Also, loss of production and labour was causing loss of Rs 50 crore per day due to non-supply of power.Earlier, a team of BBIA office bearers visited the BB-2 station and found the same in poor condition with several equipments damaged.

Meanwhile, the Association has asked the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to direct the PDD to take corrective measures or hand over the maintenance and distribution of power to it through privatization.



                                                    SPCB books 257 cases


Srinagar, Feb 12: The J&K State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) has geared up its units to enforce environmental safeguards to minimize and to prevent air and water pollution in the region. According to official press release, the J&K SPCB in Kashmir has registered a significant progress. About 182 cases in respect of the polluting brick-kilns, stone crushers, cement factories, hot mix plant and other industrial units have been registered for violation under the Air/Water Acts and EPA on account of their un-authorized operation as well as absence or inadequacy of the prescribed anti-pollution devices/measures.

As many as 75 cases have been booked under the Bio-Medical waste (Management and Handling) Rules against the polluting hospitals, nursing homes and other health care establishments for violation of the BMW Rules. About 19 violations have been registered in respect of the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules under the Environmental Protection Acts and notices issued to the concerned defaulters including the civic bodies.

The field monitoring units, both at the Regional and District levels, have been strengthened to take up all the challenges and ensure eco-friendly industrial activity in the whole of Kashmir Region by enforcing installation of fool-proof anti-pollution devices by the entrepreneurs as prescribed under the Environmental Protection Act.

The Board, during intensive inspections carried out in respect of various industrial units took more than 315 samples of industrial effluents (liquid waste) and got analyzed by the Board at Srinagar to verify the extent of pollutants in these samples.

270 industrial units were cleared by the Board under the Air and Water Acts during the period. An amount of Rs. 42.66 lakh has been recovered as 'consent fee' from these industrial units as per norms fixed by the board. To check the level of vehicular pollution in the valley, more than 625 vehicles were cross checked to analyze the level of emissions in these vehicles. Defaulters were booked under rules with the active cooperation of the Traffic Police (Kashmir).



Revive Bond with J&K : CM Asks Corporate India
FICCI to Hold Next Retreat of CEOs in Kashmir

 

NEW DELHI, Feb 12 : Appealing the Indian industry to come to Jammu and Kashmir for investment, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah asked them to re-establish and revive the relationship they had for long with the State, even as FICCI assured him that the power-intensive industries group will explore possibilities of future investment in the State.

Addressing the 81st Annual General Meeting of Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), here this morning, the Chief Minister said the State has witnessed the most peaceful elections in the last two decades and people have ensured the success of the democratic process by huge participation. He said people have yearned for change and the State wants to be known for events other than violence. For this, he called for the support of the Corporate sector.

Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dixit and Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan also attended the meeting, besides a galaxy of industry captains from all across the country.

Enumerating the investment potential of the State, Mr Abdullah said while Jammu can be described as the capital of small & medium enterprises, Kashmir holds potential for tourism, agro-based, IT and outsourcing industries. He said only two days ago, he inaugurated the BPO of the ESSAR Group in Srinagar, adding that by investing in sectors like health, education and power, the industry shall not only be earning profits but also fulfilling its promise of social responsibility towards the State as well. He also said he would be meeting the Prime Minister to talk about incentives for investing in Jammu and Kashmir.

Terming J&K as the biggest beneficiary of good relations between India and Pakistan, Mr Abdullah hoped that the slowdown in relations between the two countries won't go below this. He hoped that the LoC in Kashmir becomes Line of Commerce and said he will be taking the connectivity and financial problems coming in the way of this trade with the Centre. He said after the Lok Sabha elections are over, he would start a process of internal dialogue in the State.

On the efforts of the Government, Mr Abdullah said infrastructure is the primary focus of the present coalition, adding many infrastructure projects are in the pipeline including the historical rail project. He said the first flight from Srinagar Airport will take off on Saturday.

On the occasion, the Chief Minister interacted with delegates and answered their queries. He also invited FICCI to visit the State and experience the changed atmosphere.

Thanking the Chief Minister for his presence and gesture, the Director General, FICCI, Dr Amit Mitra assured him that his organization will explore investment opportunity with the power-intensive industries group. He also said that the study on Food Processing industry conducted by FICCI will be presented to Mr Abdullah soon.

Dr Mitra also announced that FICCI will hold its next retreat of CEOs of industry later this year in Kashmir.



                                                          
                                  Industries Officials Thank Director

 

Srinagar, Feb 10: The senior functionaries of the Industries department have thanked the director, Farooq Ahmad (IAS), joint director, Muzaffar Husain (KAS), the section officer, Muhammad Yousuf Hakeem, for their unflinching efforts to solve their service matters.

In a statement, functional managers, Khursheed Ahmad Reshi, Abdul Hamid Lone and Ghulam Rasool Zargar, said the director and other officers had played a pivotal role in streamlining various procedures to facilitate quick disposal of cases and to boost the overall industrial development of Kashmir division. They took pains to convene DPCs for clearance of promotions of ministerial staff and field functionaries within two months, which is a landmark in the history of the department’s cadre management.

The managers said the director, the joint director and other officials vigorously pursued the matters to convene the DPC, for the first time in decades, to get their promotions regularized because of which they (functional managers) were now eligible for induction into the Kashmir Administrative Service.



                  Govt. to Vie for Industries to Tackle Unemployment : CM

 

Srinagar, Feb 10: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said Government cannot provide jobs to all the unemployed educated youth of the State but will make all efforts for setting up industries in the State for tackling the problem of unemployment.

"Unemployment in the State cannot be tackled by providing Government jobs to the youth. We need industries to tackle the problem," Omar said after laying the foundation stone of Aegis BPO Centre at Rangreth Industrial Complex here.Aegis is the first Indian multinational company to set up a BPO centre in Jammu and Kashmir and plans to start operations here within three months.

The Chief Minister said his Government will make all efforts to bring in serious investments into the State which will create jobs for the youth of the State but people and Government machinery will have to cooperate fully with the investors to ensure that these ventures are successful.

"We want the industries to be set up in the State but not those industries which come here only for the packages. We have seen many investors came into the State in the past and left once the packages were over," the Chief Minister said.He said the Government will facilitate setting up of industries.

Commenting on the Aegis BPO centre to be set up by the Essar group here, he said in financial terms, Rs 100 crore investment and a couple of thousand jobs created by BPO Centre may not be such a great thing to offset unemployment in the State but a beginning has to be made somewhere.

"Things will not change overnight and we have to take one step at a time. Efforts have been made in the past by (former Chief Ministers) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Ghulam Nabi Azad but the investors like Infosys came, talked and returned without investing. Aegis is a test case for our industrial viability for the investors," Omar said.

He said although the Essar Group owners, Ruias, did not mention it to him, they must have been told by the cynics not to invest in Jammu and Kashmir.

"I have been told by many industrialists in the face that they want to invest in our state but will first wait and see what happens to the Aegis venture. Everybody is looking at Aegis and Essar whether they will succeed or not. So, it is a duty for me, my Ministers and all concerned to ensure that this venture succeeds.

"It will succeed when the strikes, snowfall and other elements do not stop their work. The employees should put in their best efforts rather than just spend time in the offices," he said seeking a change in the work culture of the people in the State.

"In Japan, if the workers want to punish their bosses, they do not go on strike. They put a black arm band and work twice as much as their target so that the company has surplus products than their demand," he added.

The Chief Minister, without mentioning the ongoing agitation by the employees of the State Government for implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, said the exercise requires huge amount of funds.

"More than Rs 5300 crore are spent annually on the salaries of the employees and If I have to implement the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, it will be an additional Rs 1600 crore annually. Giving it retrospective effect will entail expenditure of another Rs 2800 crore," he said.

Indicating that the State had a huge a surplus workforce, the Chief Minister said even if the number of Government employees was reduced by two lakh, there will be hardly any difference in the functioning of the Government and administration.

On the talent available in the State for BPO industry, the Chief Minister said many of the boys and girls from the State were working in the BPO industry in cities like Bangalore, Pune and Delhi because there were no avenues for them here. "We have to create avenues for them right here so that they can also come back."

Omar said people of the State have amply demonstrated during the recent elections to the State Assembly that they want their share of the development. "We can create an identity other than that of terror and bloodshed. International flights and extension in train services will ensure that we move towards the path of development," he said.

The Chief Minister thanked the Essar Group for showing confidence of investing in the State and urged the Ruias to act as ambassadors of Kashmir back in Mumbai.

"They came to Kashmir and could have left today itself but they are staying back. I want them to visit Gulmarg and see the beauty of Kashmir so that when they go back, they can talked about the changed situation in the State," he added.

As per estimates, about 2000 people will be employed in the two BPO centres at Jammu and Srinagar in a short period of time. "We will also make this BPO centre operational within next three months," Aegis Managing Director and Global CEO Aparup Sengupta said on the occasion adding Aegis has provided employment and training to local people wherever they have set up their centres.

"We have Filipinos working in the Aegis Centre in the Philippines, Gujaratis at our Ahmadabad centre and Marathis at Pune and we are proud that Kashmiri will be now added to our portfolio," he said.

He said while the decision to invest in Jammu and Kashmir was taken on the basis of available talent in the State, the company also wanted to play its part in helping the State Government ease the unemployment problem.

Prashant Ruia, Group CEO of Essar, which is the promoting Aegis, said besides setting up the BPO centres, his company was looking at the possibility of investing in a Hydro-electric power project in the State.

"Our investments will create thousands of direct jobs besides creating thousands more indirect employment opportunities. But for the business to grow, we need the support of the Government as well as the people of the State," he said.

Minister for Industries and Commerce Surjeet Singh Salathia said the State will welcome all industrial investment with open arms and facilitate setting up of their ventures.

"The land and the building were allotted to the Aegis in a record time of just two days. All the industry related investments will be cleared on priority basis as industrialization is the only way to resolve the unemployment crisis in the State," Salathia said.

National Conference president and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah was among host of dignatories present at the foundation stone laying ceremony.




                                         Salathia Reviews Works on J&KEDI Building

Srinagar : The Minister for Industries and Commerce S. S. Salathia today visited the under construction building of Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (J&KEDI) Pampore and reviewed the ongoing work. The minister was apprised about the building structure and design by the construction engineers. The minister appreciated the building design and instructed the officials of the constructing agency to expedite the work and finish the project immediately.



            

              Omar Abdullah Asks Centre to Declare J&K Medi-plants Producing Zone


New Delhi, Feb 09 – Asking the Centre to declare Jammu and Kashmir medicinal plants producing zone, Chief Minister, Mr. Omar Abdullah in his meeting with Union Minister for Commerce and Power, Mr. Jairam Ramesh highlighted the vast potential of the State for producing plants of medicinal value and spices.

Omar Abdullah today called on Union Minister here and discussed issues pertaining to horticulture, commerce, handicrafts and power sectors with him. The Chief Minister sought central projects for the development of Pashmina, Kani-shawls and sozni works. He said handicraft sector promises greater employment and economic opportunity in Jammu and Kashmir adding that the State is known for high class handicrafts International standard.

Abdullah emphasized the need for encouraging artisans, and crafts persons by way of skill development and innovative designs especially in Carpet Weaving, Sozankari, Shawlbafi, Basholi Crafts, etc. He discussed completion of International Trade Centre coming up at Pampore, Kashmir with the central assistance.

The Chief Minister called for liberal central assistance for the development of Saffron and spices in the State and said that State especially Kashmir and Kishtwar are ideally suitable for cultivation of Saffron. He asked for central projects for the development of these economically viable cash crops.

The Chief Minister said that horticulture industry is a sheet anchor for the State's rural economy and emphasized central assistance for enhancing the productivity and production of horticulture produce in the State. He also asked for central projects for apple and walnut development.

Omar discussed issues relating to completion of various power projects under implementation in Jammu and Kashmir in the central sector and stressed on accelerating the pace of work on these projects. He discussed issues relating to the Pukaldul, Kishen Ganga, Sawalakote and other hydel power projects with the Union Minister and said that power being the nerve centre for all the economic activities especially in the field of industries and commerce, should receive top priority of the Central Government. He also discussed issues regarding the thermal energy development projects in Ladakh region.

Abdullah also discussed issues relating to the development of leather industry in the State and said that possibilities for the growth and development of this industry need to be explored to create job avenues for the unemployed youth. Jairam Ramesh assured the Chief Minister all possible help and assistance from the Centre for the economic development of Jammu and Kashmir.

Industries Managers Thank Kotwal

Srinagar, Feb 6: The functional managers of the Industries and Commerce Department have expressed their gratitude to the outgoing commissioner/secretary, Dr. Pawan Kotwal, for his relentless efforts for their long awaited regularization. They also welcomed the new Principal Secretary, Anil Goswami, assuring him of their continued co-operation and redoubled efforts for efficient working of the department.

In a joint statement issued by Ghulam Rasool Zargar, Khursheed Ahmad Reshi, Abdul Majid Lone and their colleagues, the functional managers said it was for the first time after more than a decade that Dr Kotwal got the all-important meeting of the Departmental Promotion Committee held which eventually paved the way for the long awaited regularization.

“Most of us had been stagnating at the earlier posts for as long as 12 years. This had caused lot of frustration among the rank and file of the department. Because of this, we had been working in our own pay and grade. Fortunately, it were the personal efforts of the commissioner/secretary, Dr Kotwal, that we have been regularized,” the functional managers said.

The officials also thanked the director of Industries and Commerce, Farooq Ahmad, and the joint director, Muzaffar Husain, for their support and efforts to pursue their genuine case with the administrative department.

The managers called on the Principal Secretary, Anil Goswami, today to welcome him to the department. He gave a patient hearing to the officials and assured them of his support to solve their problems particularly in respect of service matters.


Govt. to Soon Set Up 2 BPO Units : Slathia


JAMMU, Feb 5: The Government would soon establish two Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) Units at Srinagar and Jammu for creating more employment opportunity for the skilled and unskilled youth. This was stated by Minister for Industries and Commerce, S. S. Slathia while addressing at a function organized by Small Scale Industrial Association, Bari-Brahmana today.

The Minister further said that the land for establishment of these units stands already identified and after completing other formalities these offices would provide employment to about 9,000 youth of the State.

Mr Slathia said that the Government would take various innovative initiatives for the development of the industries across the State. He asked the industrialists to provide employment to the local youth to overcome the unemployment problems and added that industries would flourish only if the workers of the units are taken care of.

To redress the problems of industrialists, the Minister said that he will himself sit at Udyog Bhawan, Jammu for two days in a week to listen to their grievances. He said that the industrialists belonging to the respective provinces will get No Objection Certificates (NOC) from Pollution Control Board at Jammu and Srinagar, irrespective of the location of the office during the annual darbar move.

Mr Slathia further said that efforts are underway to get central package for industrial sector which would help in the revival of sick units. He asked the functionaries to guide the new entrepreneurs in establishing fresh viable units and asked them to simplify the procedure for establishing these.

The Association on the occasion also put forth charter of demands which include exemption of central excise duty, adequate power supply, creation of more infrastructure, central transport package for industrialists as provided to the industrialists of Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh, permission for importing spare parts of machinery and setting up of power court.

Among others, Commissioner/Secretary Industries and Commerce, Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Deputy Commissioner Samba, Sourav Bhagat, Chariman Pollution Control Board, Mr Sheikh, Managing Director SIDCO, S.B.S. Dua, Managing Director SICOP, Raman Soni, Joint Director Industries, Jammu, Arun Sharma besides representatives of various Small Scale Industrial Units were present on the occasion.


 
Minister Promises Quick Single Window Clearance
Chamber Felicitates Slathia

 
JANUARY 23, 2009 – Minister for Industries & Commerce, Labour and Employment, Mr. Surjit Singh Slathia has issued instructions for quick disposal of Single Window Clearance files and added that the delay in procedural formalities in registration of industrial units be eliminated.

The Minister also called upon the concerned authorities to monitor the implementation of State Industrial Policy 2004-15 as well as the Central Package of Incentives so that its benefits reach the intended target.

The Minister was speaking at a felicitation function, organized by the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry in honour of Mr. Slathaia, here today.

Commissioner/Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Director, Industries & Commerce, Jammu , Mr. Pradeep Gupta, MD, SIDCO, Mr. B. S. Dua, President, Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Ram Sahai, Secretary General of Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Rajender Motial and a galaxy of industrialists were present on the occasion.

Mr. Slathia said that the future of job opportunities lies in entrepreneurship and the Government will ensure that registration hassles are removed at all levels. “We have youth who are tech-savvy, innovative and possess excellent managerial qualities. They are techno-prenuers who have to be encouraged to start their own ventures”, the Minister said.

Mr. Slathia said that Government is aware about the problems of traders and would make all out efforts to resolve them in a phased manner. To further boost to the industrial sector in the State, the Minister revealed that the Government would soon approach the Centre and discuss various measures for facilitating growth of industries in the State. He said that the Central Government would be requested to extend the Package of Incentives on the analogy of North Eastern States.

The Minister said that the Government would also review the existing rates of industrial plots in industrial estates so that unemployed skilled youth are motivated to establish their units in the organized sector. He asked the industrialists to suggest measures for further growth of industries.

Mr. Slathia said that the Chief Minister, Mr. Omar Abdullah is keen to bring leading industrial houses in the State and the Government would ensure better industrial infrastructure. He said that a checklist for the requirement of formalities and a helpline would be created for facilitation of those who want to establish new industries in the State, Mr. Slathia said.

Earlier, while welcoming the Minister, Mr. Ram Sahai highlighted the problems confronted by the traders and industrialists in the State. He requested the Minister for adopting a universal trade policy and improvement of power position and other issues related to industrial development. He also sought to resolve the issue of plastic industry in light of the Supreme Court directions. He said around 3 lakh people are involved in this industry and steps are required to be taken to save their future. He assured full cooperation on behalf of the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the development and welfare of industrial fraternity.

 
CM Announces Joint Task Force with CII for
Growth of J&K

 
JAMMU, Jan 23,2009 : Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah today announced setting up of a Joint Task Force to work on the promotion of industry and growth and development of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Chief Minister himself will be the Chairman of the Task Force with a senior past President from Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) its Co-Chairman. The Members of the Task Force will be prominent industrialists and national-level figures, local CEOs, economists and Government officials.

The Task Force will also have a Working Group under it, headed by the Chief Secretary and co-chaired by the CII. The Members of the Working Group will be select CEOs and Government officials. The Secretariat for the Task Force and Working Group will be CII.
The Chief Minister announced the formation of the Joint Task Force with CII for Jammu and Kashmir at a meeting with its Director General, Chandrajit Banerjee, who called on Mr. Abdullah here this morning to reaffirm CII's participation in the development agenda of the State.

The Chief Minister, while interacting with Mr. Banerjee and other Members of the CII team, said that his top priority is improving skill sets of the youth of the State to enhance their employability, in tune with the present and futuristic job market requirements. He said his high priority areas include creation of human capital so that any investment in the State also helps the youth in getting employment opportunities. In addition to the human capital development, the Chief Minister also asked the CII to identify focused areas that could have targeted intervention for development, including IT, horticulture, agro-processing, which will not be affected by the locational disadvantages.

Mr. Banerjee outlined the initiatives that the CII proposed for Jammu and Kashmir in the first phase. He said that CII will also set up a Skill Development Centre in Jammu and Kashmir in partnership with the State Government. He said the CII will invest Rs. 1 crore in various skill development initiatives.

Mr. Banerjee complimented the Chief Minister for his vision and the credibility he brings with him. While wishing Mr. Abdullah all success in his mission to make Jammu and Kashmir a developed state, he said that the CII is delighted to work with him for the growth of the State. He announced that the CII will open an office in Srinagar to build the momentum.

The CII also presented various suggestions on other critical areas including tourism, agriculture and socio-economic development of the State.

 
KCCI Seeks Rs. 600 cr. Debt Relief
87 % Industrial Units in Valley Sick
 

Srinagar, Jan 19,2009: Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) is seeking a 'one time debt relief' for the entrepreneurs of Kashmir from the State Government to the tune of nearly Rs 600 crore to restore the private initiative in business sector in the Valley as more than 87 per cent industrial units here have turned 'sick'.

"Certain steps are necessary at the moment for revival and rehabilitation of the sick micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the Valley. A one time debt relief to tourism, handcraft and industries in entire Kashmir is needed. This should include hotels, houseboats, transport, handicraft, small scale industries, retailers and wholesalers," president of the KCCI Mubeen Shah told EXCELSIOR.

He said these demands have been put forth to the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in a 70 page document – Economic Revival of Kashmir -- during a recent meeting of the KCCI delegation with him.

"The total estimate of this one time debt relief is not more than Rs 500 crore to Rs 600 crore. By this one step, the local private initiative will be restored and the possibility of salvaging one generation of entrepreneurs may be achieved," Shah said.

Quoting a survey conducted by Entrepreneurship Development Institute Ahmadabad, the KCCI president said 87.13 per cent industrial units in the Valley have turned sick due to the situation in the State while the rest of the units are at the verge of sickness.

"This means the entire industrial sector of the State is either sick or on the verge of sickness and the ongoing global downturn has also badly affected the sector. As the sickness is due to the situation and not because of viability of projects, hence a need based comprehensive package is required for revival of industrial sector in our State, enabling the existing infrastructure to become productive for employment generation," he added.

Shah also raised the issue of security forces occupying the industrial units at many places and sought intervention of the Chief Minister in getting these vacated. "Lot of our units have been occupied by security forces, resulting in sickness of these units. Some of the unit holders had to sell the properties to liquidate the bank loans."

He said he has already suggested to Union Ministry of MSME to create a fund having a corpus of Rs 50 crore for revival and rehabilitation of the sick industrial units.

"The funding pattern may be on the basis of 60:30:10 – 60 per cent interest free loan from Government with five years moratorium, 30 per cent capital investment subsidy and 10 per cent beneficiary contribution," Shah said.

The KCCI president said the rehabilitation of sick units could not be taken up due to non-availability of promoters' contribution and soft loans as envisaged in the State police for rehabilitation.

Shah said the State Government should issue guidelines to mention that coercive action would not be taken if rehabilitation is initiated by the banks. "The State Government should introduce a single window clearance concept for providing relief and concessions to the sick units in the State," he added.

Shah also sought formation of district level body for rehabilitation of sick units where all agencies confirm their participation in rehabilitation to expedite the process and ensure better coordination between different agencies.

"At present, Empowered Committee under the chairmanship of Regional Director of RBI and SLIIC are the two bodies that review the status of sickness in the MSME sector. There is a need to establish a district level body for the purpose," he said.

"One of the models made by the KCCI which has been formally agreed by the Jammu and Kashmir Bank is taking over the previous loan and infusing fresh funds for revival. This needs a modification as the case presently done has entailed additional mortgage which may not be possible by other sick units," he added.

Shah also demanded freezing of loan accounts of sick industrial unit holders and conversion of the working capital loan into a term loan to be paid in easy installments over a period of five years.

The KCCI president said the Central Government should announce same investment subsidy for industrial units in Jammu and Kashmir as has been done in the case of North East States.

"We request the State Government to approach the Central Government so that similar incentives are provided for industries in Jammu and Kashmir," he added.

 
Essar Group to Develop 2 IT Parks
Give J&K a Chance : Omar to India Inc.
 


MUMBAI, Jan 17,2009: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has asked India Inc to help in creating conditions for resurrection of industry and help in solving the problem of "unemployability" in his home State.

"I am not asking you to look to invest immediately. I am looking to you to help me create the conditions that will make you to invest in Jammu and Kashmir," Abdullah said last night addressing a gathering of the who’s who of Corporate India at an award ceremony here.

He asked the industrialists to help solve the two related problems that, according to him needed to be addressed urgently-employment and unemployability.

"It is the problem of unemployability that corporate India can help me with by helping give youngsters of Jammu and Kashmir a skill-set that will make them attractive not just in the State but in the rest of the country," the 38-year-old Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir said.

"There is a lot that Jammu and Kashmir has to give to you-both personally and professionally. Just give us a chance," he added.

"I am extremely happy that industrialists here today not only spoke of coming to Kashmir but also about re-establishing industry there. My endeavour would be to make it easy for them," Abdullah told reporters after the award function. Essar Group has committed to develop two IT parks-one each in Jammu and Srinagar-which will create jobs for four thousand people, Essar Steel’s Managing Director, Prashant Ruia, said.

On the huge voter turnout during the recent elections in J&K, Abdullah said, "I must admit that I was one of the sceptics who did not believe that people would come out and stamp their mark on the election. But they did and they came out and voted for the basics that a lot of us take for granted." The youth of Kashmir had voted because they wanted a future, he said adding the youths came out for roads, for clean drinking water, for an affordable and steady supply of electricity.

"They want to be a part of what India Inc is doing for the rest of the country. They have a yearning to be part of the mainstream. They want to be part of the India dream," J&K’s youngest Chief Minister said. "For 20 years all we have given you is bad stories out of Jammu and Kashmir. The end of 2008 I believe is the beginning of good stories coming out of Kashmir," Abdullah said. Mr Abdullah presented Business India's Businessman of the Year 2008 Award to P. R. S. Oberoi, Chairman of the Oberoi Group. Former Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, Who is Who of the corporate world, J&K Minister for Industries and Commerce, S. S. Slathia, Chief Minister's Political Advisor, Devender Singh Rana and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai were also present on the occasion.

The Chief Minister said that he would like to see the youth of J&K, who too aspire to be a part of corporate India's dream run, to be equipped with skill sets to meet industry's needs. He said he wanted to create the conditions that Corporate India would earn profits in J&K. "Help me build skill sets for my people that will make you to employ them in your organisations across the country and in new facilities that I hope you will soon set up in J&K", he said and added "I will then ensure that while peace returns, the youth are trained and employable, ready for you when you decide to come and set base."
Mr Abdullah assured the India Inc. represented at the event by CEOs, corporate stalwarts and captains of industry, that every support required to make their entry into J&K, would be made easy and as comfortable as possible and said that he was just a phone call, fax and e-mail away.
Dovetailing industry with tourism, he said that J&K offers world-class golfing facilities, adding though he does not play golf, the State has a spectacular golf course in Srinagar and invited the corporate houses to come to the State. "I don't play," he said adding, "but my father has built a spectacular golf course in Srinagar."

 
 
CAG indicts Industries Deptt. for ill-planning, idle investment

Daily Excelsior


JAMMU, Feb 12: While majority of the promoters from outside the State continued to indulge in blatant violation in the land lease deed provisions at Samba, Kathua and Jammu areas, massive irregularities, ill-planning and idle investment worth crores in developing Samba Growth Centre and two Food Parks at Khunmoh and Sopore in Kashmir valley by Industries and Commerce department, has been detected.

Comptroller and Auditor General ( CAG) of India in its latest report has detected wasteful expenditure and idle investment besides a number of iregularities worth over Rs 80 cr committed by the State Industrial Development Corporation under the department of Industries and Commerce. It has also pointed out a cost overrun of Rs 28.76 cr as a result of ill-planning and delay caused in the execution of work at Samba Industrial Growth Centre and land acquisition process.

In the audit report of March 2006, the CAG has detected gross irregularities and idle investment in Samba and Lassipora growth centres. For Lassipora in Kashmir, Central Government approved a project worth Rs 54.20 cr. in June 2000. It was to be completed in five years. Land measuring 6193 kanal was proposed to be acquired at Lassipora for the same.

But during audit it was noticed that hardly 30 % of the land was acquired and developed by March 2006 and after in two months nearly 5200 kanals against the proposed 6193. The growth Centre was developed away from the district headquarters and it could not attract the investment. The land was allotted to 38 entrepreneurs but only eight units could be established. It was found that selection of unsuitable site and improper planning by agency involved caused heavy loss to the public exchequer.

For the development of Samba Industrial Growth Centre, Rs 16.41 cr were spent in first phase up to March 2006. Out of the proposed area of 6700 kanals, the SIDC could develop only 1814 kanals of area and initial cost of the project was put at Rs 29.80 cr. The revised cost was later put at Rs 58.55 cr in 2006. The reason of slow implementation was attributed to delay in land acquisition process and delay in release of funds by Central government. Audit report pointed out that out of the 153 entrepreneurs including most of the from outside the State, who were allotted land to establish their units, only 42 had established their units. While 111 units could not come up after lapse of several years of allotment. The second phase of the development and land acquisition of 1257 kanals was found to be too slow. The lack of proper planning and delay caused cost over run of over Rs 28 cr at Samba centre. An idle expenditure of Rs 55.72 lakh was also detected on the construction of two over head water tanks and a tube well at Samba Industrial centre as the infrastructure was not found to be in use.
The Union Ministry of Food Processing approved two projects to develop Food Parks at Sopore and Khunmoh in Kashmir with the cost of Rs 9.45 cr and Rs 7.25 cr, respectively, in 2002. This project was proposed to be completed in three years. On Sopore project, the Corporation (SIDC) spent Rs 5.32 cr and developed project on 160 kanals of land. No survey was however, conducted to ensure availability of water in the area selected. No application was received for the allotment of land due to this problem. Work on a tube well at the site was abandoned half way. In December 2004, it was proposed to provide water to the area from nearby river but no initiative was found thereafter. Water treatment plant was also nowhere at sight as proposed only in papers on Oct 2006. Due to ill-planning, investment worth over Rs 5.32 cr was found to be unfruitful and idle.
For the development of Food Park at Khunmoh Rs 5.43 cr was spent and 44 plots were developed of which 36 were allotted to various individuals/ parties. It was found that out of 36, only nine established their units till Oct 2006. After lease deed, entrepreneurs are required to establish their units within six months, but majority of them failed to do so. No action was taken for cancellation of allotment.

The audit report further pointed out that as per lease deed for allotment of land to the promoters from outside the State, they have to appoint 90 percent of the workers in their respective units amongst the locals but it was found that majority of the units were indulging in massive violation of the lease deed provisions. Most of such units are established at Kathua, Samba, Bari Brahmana and Jammu.

Again, as per the terms of lease deed, the Corporation can allow them to arrange their own facilities like water, electricity etc on payment of cess charges. Eight units were allowed to do so. However, the Corp failed to recover the cess charges of Rs 2.77 cr from these unit holders. The audit report also detected wasteful investment of Rs 14.5 cr. at Export Promotion Industrial Park Bari Brahmana, as against 26, only eight units could be set up there in last more than five years.



                                                SAIL plans processing unit in J&K

 

Nodal agency Jammu & Kashmir State Industrial Development Corporation and Steel Authority of India are soon likely to finalize the terms of the PSU steel major's proposed Rs 300-crore plant in the hilly state. Speaking to Projectmonitor, a senior official of JKSIDC said that the project contours will be discussed at the high-level meeting. The proposal will then be sent to the state and Central governments for approval. On its part, the state nodal agency has already identified land at Lassipura in Pulwama district. "The land has not yet been handed over", he added.
Although the project details are yet to be finalized, it is learnt that SAIL is keen to invest Rs 300 crore in setting up a steel processing plant - its first in north India. SAIL's Rourkela Steel Plant in Orissa will implement the project, it is understood, although SAIL officials did not confirm this.
The steel ministry was keen to start work on the project last month, but maintained that the state pollution control board has yet to give a no-objection certificate. Reacting to this, a highly placed official in Jammu & Kashmir Pollution Control Board said on conditions of anonymity that SAIL has not yet approached the board with its formal application. The plant will need an NOC during construction and another before commercial production starts. "The clearance will be issued as soon as the formal application is made", the official added.

JKSIDC was very upbeat on the prospects of a steel processing centre in the state, both in terms of employment opportunities and the covenant socio-economic uplift. The plant will provide direct and indirect employment to 500 persons, it is estimated. "An investment of Rs 300 crore is small as far as SAIL is concerned, but it would mean much to Jammu & Kashmir", the agency official observed. In recent years, the hilly state has been able to attract private investment thanks to a favourable industrial policy. The investment has generally been in low-capital industries like pharmaceuticals, paints, food processing and plastic packaging. SAIL's proposal might catalyze further investment in the metallurgical sector, he observed.

 
CM for Extending Benefits of Industry to Rural Areas
Daily Excelsior..
Oct. 28,

Reiterating that his Government is keen to have maximum inflow of investment in industrial sector in the State, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad called for extending the benefits of the industry to rural and semi urban areas of the State. Chief Minister was addressing a gathering after inaugurating a state of art Pharmaceutical unit set up by Medleys Integrity Medicines, a leading Pharmaceutical Company of the Country, at Bari Brahmana here this afternoon. Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Abdul Rehman Antulay, Member Parliament Madan Lal Sharma, Minister of State Dr. Romesh Sharma, prominent citizens, besides renowned industrialist of Jammu and staff of Medley concern were present on the occasion.

Expressing optimism that Jammu and Kashmir would soon become a hub of industrial activities, he said there is an impending need to take the industry out of the confines of big cities so that the people living in rural and semi urban areas could also reap the benefits of this vital sector. He said Jammu and Kashmir which is known for tourism and handicraft also possesses great industrial potential for agriculture, horticulture and Information Technology.

Asserting that the present Government is committed to promote industrial activities in the State, he said besides offering attractive incentives, it is being assured that the entrepreneurs willing to set up their ventures over here may not face any kind of harassment in getting clearance of projects.

He said "since it is the endeavour of my Government to weed out corruption, I would like to declare from this stage that they (industrialists) would not face the money fleecing tactics to which they might be subjected to elsewhere".

Referring to the handsome incentives being offered by the State and Union Governments to attract entrepreneurs, Mr Azad said that the main objective behind extending these spurs is to generate employment opportunities in the State. He said since Jammu and Kashmir is located at the extreme end of the country, the State is facing acute dearth of employment opportunities. He said it is highly satisfying to note that the industrial units have also adhered to the condition of employing 90 percent local youth in lieu of the generous incentives given by the State and Union Governments to them.

He, however, regretted that many industrial houses prefer to retreat from the State offering incentives, once the Government withdraw the same forgetting that after enjoying relaxation for a length of time it was their turn to pay back.

He said "though on my request the Union Government has already extended the incentives for J&K by five more years which were going to end in the month of March , 2007 , I hope those who have invested here will not resort to such practice".

Describing Jammu and Kashmir as a potential State for industrial activities, Mr Azad said that having the yearly influx of over seven million Vaishno Devi pilgrims the State has the distinction of having rail connectivity with almost every part of the country which could also benefit the industrial units.

He said besides this, the State is also going to have international airport at Srinagar which could facilitate direct export of products. "Similarly, the State is also looking forward to overcome the problem of availability of power as the 400 MW Baglihar project is being commissioned in the month of April next year" Mr Azad said adding " in next two years the State would commission four more power projects which would solve this problem for ever".

Congratulating the Medley Pharmaceutical management for setting up such a prospective unit in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister said India is heading to number one position in the industry giving a tough competition even to the countries like America for un matching quality of medicines produced by the companies here. Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Mr Antulay congratulated Medleys group for opening their venture in Jammu and Kashmir, hoping a bright success for the company in future.

Hailing the efforts being made by Azad led Government in effecting all round development of the State, Mr Antulay said that he is looking a bright future for the State.
Earlier, the Chief Managing Director Medleys, Sami Khatib gave a brief account of the production to be taken up in the unit. He said the medicines produced in this unit would also be exported to Europe and America. The Chief Minister went round the factory and examined the production and other sections.





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Title : Govt.Victimising Tiny Industrial Units : ASSI
Daily Excelsior.. Apr.21,2006


The Association of Small Scale Industries has criticized the State Administration for victimizing the tiny industrial sector. In a statement issued here today, the Association said most of the units are at the verge of closure due to discriminative attitude of the Government."Despite the fact that the Government is abrest of the burning problems of tiny industrial sector but the State Administration has no definite policy towards them.Their entire attention is diverted towards large and medium scale industries thereby crushing the local tiny industrial sector".The Association alleged in a statement issued here today.

The Association alleged that on the one hand Government is inviting outside ventures to establish their industrial activity in our State but they are unable to nourish the local tiny sector and hence their survival is left to their fate.

The Association further said the tiny industrial sector has made supplies to various Government departments against the supply orders placed on them during the financial year 2005-06. The payment thereof has still not been received by them resulting in blockade of their working capital in crores of rupees thus burdening the tiny industrial units with penal interest of the banks. It is further said some payments made to tiny units are held in Government treasuries due to non availability of funds. Futher, the insufficient funds are being provided to treasuries which leads to pick and choose practice.

The Association in an appeal to Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad has sought his intervention in the matter. It further urged him to issue directives to concerned Departments to clear outstanding of the tiny scale units.

 

 
Title :More facilities for industrialists opting rural areas : CM
 



Daily Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 12: Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said that Government was seriously planning to provide additional facilities to such industrialists who intend to establish their industrial units in rural and far-off areas where raw material is available.

The Government can readily extend additional incentives to such entrepreneurs who move out of cities and towns and expand the orbit of their activities to rural areas for balanced industrial development in consonance with feasibility, the Chief Minister said while chairing the meeting with the representatives of Chamber of Commerce and Industry Jammu this evening.

He said those industrialists who try to run away after making hay while the sunshines and do not perform the responsibility, which is obligatory upon them, Government will deal firmly against them and retrieve the land allotted to them. He, however, said that those industrialists who would come forward to launch units in rural districts away from railhead would be provided added incentives. He said Government would also make road network upto the mark to facilitate industrialists to move out from the cities and towns and focus on rural industrialization.

Mr Azad said that being the backbone of economic structure, the industry sector has to play its significant role in Jammu and Kashmir State not only to eradicate unemployment but spread its network in all nook and corners of the state including far-flung areas so that J&K is brought back to respectable position on industrial map of India here this evening.

Asking the industrialists to play their stupendous role in helping faster development and providing enhanced employment opportunities to both skilled and non-skilled youth, the Chief Minister said that Government has already played its significant part to provide unprecedented concessions including tax holiday for launching ventures in J&K.

He said, he has recently advocated the necessity of extending tax holiday period for industries in J&K for a period of further five years with the central leadership. "I have succeeded in this mission and Union Finance Minister has reflected while making budget speech in the Parliament", Mr Azad said

He expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union Finance Minister for the same.

The Chief Minister asked the investors to take benefit of this important concession and redouble endeavors for bringing rural areas within the ambit of industrialization.

Chief Minister said all areas of J&K State promise profitable industrial activities and are waiting for investors to exploit abundantly available feasibility and raw material.

Minister of State for Industries and Commerce Dr. Romesh Chander Sharma, Principal Secretary Planning and Development S. S. Kapoor, Principal Secretary Power Development Madhav Lal, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Anil Goswami, Commissioner/Secretary Finance B. B. Vyas, Commissioner/Secretary Industries and Commerce . Lokesh Jha, Director Industries and Commerce Jeet Lal Gupta, Director Handicrafts R. A. Qadri, Managing Director SICOP B. S. Dua, other senior officers, President Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ram Sahai and its other functionaries and members were among those who attended the meeting.

Commissioner/Secretary Industries and Commerce Lokesh Jha informed the meeting that Rs. 50 crore have been earmarked for providing basic amenities like drinking water facility, roads, sanitation and power supply in the industrial estates.