Decks might have cleared for the extension of special industrial package for Jammu and Kashmir for five years, but the local industrialists are not that enthusiastic about it.
First the implementation of the package has already been delayed by more than a year and the notification regarding the matter has not been issued. Moreover, this package is meant only for five years.
Welcoming the extension of special industrial package, president, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Jammu, YV Sharma, said, "Any system even ineffective is better than no system. Some policy is better than no policy. What the government is providing through the package is not as per the expectations of the industry".
Questioning the incentives being given in the package, CCI president said, "The mother of all incentives, income tax exemption, is not being given in the package. The incentives in the package are not clear cut. Many incentives in the previous package were withdrawn in the way and were not implemented entirely".
Finding inadequacies in the package, Sharma pointed out, "Location disadvantage of Jammu and Kashmir is not being compensated by this special package".
Chairman, Federation of Industries Association, Annil Suri, while welcoming the package, rued that it has been delayed for long.
Finding time frame of five years inadequate to provide much needed fillip to industrial sector in J&K, Suri said, "It has been a year since the package for the ten years started in 2002, expired in June 2012. Now the effective period of the package will only be for four years, that too if it is implemented today. As per my information, the package has only got EFC permission and now it will be sent to cabinet for approval which too is going too take a while before it is actually approved".
He said, "In 2002 similar package was provided to Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Also we are hearing that these states too will get extension, than why industries from outside will come here. There must be some extra incentives for outsiders vis-a-vis Himachal and Uttarakhand to attract outsiders. In the period between 2002-2012 there was an investment of Rs 2,500 crore in J&K, while in the same period Himachal Pradesh generated Rs 35,000 crore and Uttarakhand generated Rs 50,000 crore in investment in industrial sector".
Suri said that in order to make this package worthwhile, first the package should be for ten years; secondly, the state government should provide adequate infrastructure, such as power and industrial land, and thirdly, package should be made 'khasra neutral' meaning "incentives under the package should not only be given to the industrial units established in the organised industrial areas, they should be passed on to any unit on any land in J&K.