Centre sets ball rolling for private investment in new UT

SRINAGAR:  Centre has formally kicked off the process to persuade top corporates and industrialists to invest in the new union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Sources said officials of PMO and Jammu and Kashmir government are scheduled to hold a meeting on Friday to discuss the possibilities of private investment in the new union territory. 

 

The meeting will be chaired by Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister. Sources said Chief Secretary, authorities of Finance Department, Planning and Development Department, Revenue, and several other departments will be representing Jammu and Kashmir. The officials may participate in the meeting through video conference. 

“The agenda of the meeting is to explore possibilities of private investment, details about tax collection, upcoming budget preparations, and developmental works in Jammu and Kashmir,” a top source said.   

This is for the first time since Centre abrogated of Article 370 that the representatives of the Centre would hold a meeting with top officials of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The J&K government has invited private investors to invest in health sector, education, medical education, tourism, medicines, and production houses. The government will seek details from heads of departments about the potential in these sectors,” the source said.

In order to create an investor friendly climate, the government has decided to fast-track project clearance through a web-based single window system. This will allow the investors to avail the necessary approvals to establish and start their business operations through a single platform without any physical touch point with the approving and licensing authorities. 

J&K government has already invited private investors to buy land in the new UT to set up twin Medi-cities. The Revenue Department has also been directed to identify and transfer land for the purpose.

Similarly, the meeting is expected to review the budget preparations and tax collection in Jammu and Kashmir.“There will be minor procedural changes like state code amendments, nature of tax after October 31. Issues like how much tax could be collected from investors will also be discussed. Besides, there are other issues that will be discussed to implement the GST smoothly in the two UTs,” the source said.

Sources said the government wants a people-friendly budget since it will be the first finance bill post abrogation of Article 370, 35 A and bifurcation of the state into two union territories.

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