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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Amid fears of land grab, Kashmir govt removes at least 15 conditions for setting up businesses

Amid fears that the abolition of Article 370 would render local people landless, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has approved a series of measures for what it called simplifying business establishment process.

As per the decision taken by the Administrative Council (AC), which met under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday, the pre-requisite ‘no objection certificates’ or approvals have been relaxed for setting up of a business unit, the official spokesman said on Sunday.

He said the Udyog Aadhaar memorandum as per the condition of the Government of India would be the only requirement for a business unit to be set up.

As many as 15 NoCs or clearances were required for a business unit to be established, which have now been reduced to a bare minimum.

This will allow Indian business to buy land in the disputed region. Previous attempts by New Delhi to lure business honchos to set up operations in Kashmir have consistently failed. 

“These bare minimum NoCs/approvals shall be required subsequently, for which two sets of single-window committees have been established — one for business units coming up within industrial estates and another committee for units outside the industrial estates,” the spokesman said.

He said these committees would ensure time-bound issuance of the NoCs or approvals pertaining to power connection, water connection and building plan as per specified timelines on a case-to-case basis.

Further, the spokesman said a divisional-level committee has been approved, which would periodically monitor the working of the committees and address issues, if any, related to issuance of NoCs or approvals.

“No pre-requisite approvals shall be required as a general rule except for NoCs/ approvals from departments like pollution control board (CTE/CTO), NoC from fire and emergency department, change of land use from revenue department, etc, wherever applicable,” the spokesman said.

The lieutenant governor said consistent policy actions are being taken to encourage large-scale investment, innovation, restoring Jammu & Kashmir’s advantage in resources and skilled workforce to create a business-friendly environment and drive economic growth.

India claims the recent decisions taken by the government in business sector including new Industrial Developmental Scheme will give a fillip to Jammu and Kashmir’s economy but such initiatives in the past have borne no fruit as businesses remain apprehensive about operations in the world’s highest military zone.

“These ambitious structural reforms will not only improve J&K’s ranking in the Ease of Doing Business Index but also create an unshakeable foundation for business entities, industries planning to invest in the Union Territory,” Sinha was quoted in an official press release.

The spokesperson said the UT government is consistently making efforts with reforms, and soon planning to launch end-to-end online services for the businesses.

“The regulations are being made simpler and business-friendly by the government,” he said.

Last month, India approved a new Industrial Developmental Scheme with an outlay of Rs 28,400 crore to give a major push to the economy of the region.

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