During his national address today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured the citizens of India and Jammu And Kashmir that the changes to Article 370 and Section 35A. which erased the special status of J&K means that the region will attract more investments and startups, and give the state a technological overhaul. Modi also talked about the return of the tourism and film industry to Kashmir during his national address, which was telecast on public television and on Twitter.
Modi also spoke about the “innovative spirit” of the people of Ladakh, which was also turned into a union territory after the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of J&K. As for Kashmir, Modi added that bringing technology to the people of the valley will open up new doors and opportunities for the youth. In particular, the PM spoke about sectors such as organic healthcare products, tourism, film industry as well as startups as the areas that will benefit the most from the new status for the state.
One thing is for certain, private investors and companies do not need the approval of the state government to set up shop. The state’s policy till now primarily focused on keeping the state’s resources inside the state.
PM Modi’s Speech On J&K And Article 370
In his hour-long address, Modi spoke about creating employment in the state through public-private partnerships. He said that once the official government positions are filled, private companies would be encouraged to set up business in J&K and Ladakh. He also mentioned about the labour reforms in the state, which would include minimum wages act as well as more autonomy for the panchayats in the region.
My address to the people of India. https://t.co/f0q8rEUSkH
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 8, 2019
According to official data, 10% of all central funds have been allocated to Jammu and Kashmir between 2011 and 2016, but still, the private investment hasn’t been at par with these allocations. This change in administration will have a positive impact on J&K’s economic status, the centre has claimed, and could result in more startups and investors coming to the region to establish their operations.
Business Returns To J&K With Startups, Companies?
By removing special provisions, individuals and state can function freely as per the policies and laws under the Union of India. The changes will accelerate economic growth and skilled resources in the region, Uday Kotak, chairman of Kotak Mahindra Bank reportedly said, adding that despite being a tourist attraction, J&K’s economic development has not been at par with the rest of the states due to lack of investment and security.
With the Government of India’s assurance that the situation in J&K will improve by coming directly under the centre’s control, many businesses and startups are looking to set up shop in the region.
“The recent announcement from the Government of India potentially opens up opportunities for our business growth and also create job opportunities. We intend to foray with five cult.fit fitness centres and keep on working to expand our offerings. We look forward to delighting our customers in Jammu & Kashmir and empowering them in their journey towards healthier living,” Ankit Angori, cofounder of Cult.fit, said in a press statement.
With the new policies, the region is expected to gain more traction in terms of new ventures. Indian cooperative Dairy company Amul, Lemon Tree Hotels and helmet maker Steelbird has also expressed their intentions to invest in the Union Territory.
To boost the investment drive, the Government of India is reportedly hosting an Investors’ Summit to push the commercialisation of the region by unveiling concrete ideas of investment in tourism, pharmaceuticals, agro-processing, and healthcare. In addition, the J&K startup policy launched in 2018, which will be valid for 10 years will also boost the economic growth in the region.