Nearly 45 days after the central government announced bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, the conditions in the Valley continue to be volatile. The concerns regarding the security and peace in the area have led to the postponement of the Jammu and Kashmir investor summit to 2020.
The summit, which was earlier scheduled for October 12-14, was expected to provide Jammu and Kashmir with an opportunity to showcase its strengths, strategies and potential, the government said.
“The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met Governor Satya Pal Malik reviewed the preparedness of holding the J&K Investor Summit which was earlier scheduled from 12-14 October 2019. SAC after taking note of the level of preparedness decided that the J&K Investor Summit be rescheduled to 2020,” the J&K administration said in a statement.
The statement said the decision was taken to “give the Industries and Commerce Department reasonable time for making necessary preparations to secure robust participation of the investors in the summit.”
“The decision has also been taken to allow completion of all policy revisions by the state and the central government, further deliberations with prospective investors and other logistics related to the event,” it added.
Media reports said that the decision was also taken for safety reasons following reports of rising terrorist movements in Baramulla and Shopian districts in Kashmir. The new dates for the investors’ summit are yet to be finalised.
Earlier in August when the summit was announced, Naveen Choudhary, the state’s principal secretary (Industries), said that it will also help allay fears and apprehensions in the minds of trade and business community outside the state.
The state governor was supposed to launch roadshows in the country and abroad to attract potential investors. This includes roadshows in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Chennai with promotional events in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London, the Netherlands, Singapore, and Malaysia.
The government wanted to invite over 2,000 people, including top industrialists and representatives of business groups.
The investors’ summit was speculated soon after the state’s special status was revoked and it was to host major industrial groups and unveil concrete ideas for investment in sectors including hospitality, pharmaceuticals, agro-processing and healthcare. It was speculated to have Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurate the showcase summit.
PM Narendra Modi had taken his views on the bifurcation to the public with an hour-long address on August 8. He assured the citizens of India and Jammu And Kashmir that the changes to Article 370 and Section 35A will attract more investments and startups, and give the state a technological overhaul.
Later, Modi also said in an interview that he is very confident that investments will flow into Jammu & Kashmir. “In fact, leading entrepreneurs have already expressed their interest in investing in this region,” PM Modi said.
The Centre is now claiming that with Article 370 revoked, more startups and investors will enter the region to establish their operations. “Open minds and open markets will ensure that the youth of the region will put it on the path of greater progress. Integration gives a boost to investment, innovation and incomes,” the Prime Minister had said.