Omar Abdullah is likely to constitute a state-level Investment Promotion Board (IPB) that will work towards easing complex bureaucratic procedures to attract the private sector to Jammu and Kashmir.
This is one of the points in the “Vision document’’ finalised by Abdullah’s party — the National Conference (NC) — for good governance released in the course of the election campaign for the Assembly elections but will become the cornerstone of the NC’s plans to develop the state.
According to state Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, the 53-page document is not just an election manifesto but a blueprint to run the state. Rather, who has been finance minister thrice, had headed a committee comprising two former chief secretaries — Vijay Bakaya and Sheikh Ghulam Rasool — to finalise the document.
The document says the government will create opportunities for investment by the private sector in “building luxury hotels, tourist resorts, modern hospitals call centres besides the traditions sectors like fisheries, horticulture”.
It also recognises the lack of interest shown by the private sector even after the normalcy had returned there during recent years mainly because of the bureaucratic problems. The proposed autonomous IPB would try to remove these impediments and suggest ways to generate interest among the investors, it says.
Keen to harness the state’s potential for hydel power generation, Omar Abdullah’s government will try to lure private investors in the power sector and also learn from the experiences of other hill states like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, in this field.