Kashmir seeks $ 4 billion in investments to provide security
The Indian federal territory of Jammu and Kashmir plans to attract investments worth up to $ 4 billion over the next two-three years and would provide security for businesses settling in the insurgency-hit region, its boss said on Saturday.
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was India’s only Muslim-majority state until August 2019, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi created a Buddhist-dominated enclave and designated both as federally administered territories.
Tens of thousands of security forces protect the region where India has been fighting an armed insurgency for decades, especially in the disputed Kashmir Valley which is also claimed by Pakistan.
J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said his administration was identifying 6,000 acres (2,400 hectares) of land for business and that it would make companies feel safe.
“We have an annual budget of 1 trillion rupees ($ 13.68 billion) for the region and a good amount of that is being used to provide security for businesses,” Sinha told a group of journalists in New Delhi.
The government was also working on organizing an investment summit there after a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
“We are in contact with all the big commercial companies,” he said.
J&K is one of the least industrialized regions in India, with a per capita income of Rs 62,145 in 2016/2017, lower than the national average of Rs 82,229 but higher than several other states.
The government enforced the changes in the region through harsh repression, deploying thousands of additional troops, imposing a communications blackout and detaining dozens of people.